Print editions of US newspapers facing sliding circulations can take comfort from growing numbers of internet users clicking on to their websites.

Latest figures released by researcher Nielsen/NetRatings show newspaper sites have grown 11% over the last year, to 39.3 million visitors. The study also reports that one out of every four internet users reads a paper online. grabbed first place in the survey, with 11.4m visitors in October, while Gannett's and held the number two and three positions last month.

Comments Nielsen analyst Gerry Davison: "The growth among newspaper websites demonstrates that these entities offer unique incentives to visitors." He adds that development of interactive features such as weblogs, podcasts and streaming video and audio was helping to make "newspaper websites an increasingly appealing choice for news".

The research firm also points out that newspaper websites are attracting visitors at a faster pace than the internet overall, which shows a 3% increase in users over the previous year.

Figures from the US Audit Bureau of Circulations reveal that the aggregated weekday circulations of 789 newspapers with audited data fell year-on-year by 2.6%, from 45.3 million to 45.1m. The fall follows a 1.9% slide during the previous reporting period ended March 30 [WAMN: 09-Nov-05].

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff