Have you ever looked at a graph and been really suprised by what you saw?

The original London Lite and thelondonpaper readership graphs

When I read the headline ‘Official: Lite is London’s favourite with 1,021,000 readers each day’ I was not suprised, and glancing at the graphs (above) it was obvious…thelondonpaper was getting humped by London Lite. Or was it…?

I don’t generally read the stories in London Lite (the pictures are much more entertaining), but following its constant battle with thelondonpaper has been a guilty pleasure of mine. I decided to have a look at the figures a bit closer, and something didn’t add up. The figures in the graph in the bottom right (15 to 44 year olds) were really close…just 6,000 difference between the two papers (out of 802,000 (0.75%)), yet the graph seemed to suggest something different (it looked like it could be up to a 200,000 difference).

Looking at the the other graphs, it seemed like all of the graphs were wrong. I decided to draw the graphs myself, using their figures, to see how wrong they were. Here’s what the readership figures should look like:

The real graphs of London Lite and thelondonpaper readership figures
Apologies for the crappy quality!

Quite a difference. So is London Lite deliberately misleading its readers with these graphs? I’m sure they will claim that the images behind the figures are not graphs, but simply there for decoration…but it looks to me like they are misrepresenting what is obviously an extremely close fight for free paper dominance on the streets of London.

My editorial opinion? For once it seems like the blood (ink) is on the London Lite’s hands.

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