Nielsen People Meters Under Attack

The Nielsen company’s new “people meters” to monitor TV viewership have come “under attack from television networks, minority groups and even lawmakers when a test of its electronic “people meters,” newly installed in select New York homes, began reporting a sharp decrease in viewership for television shows that feature minorities. Because the current system — a decades-old technique involving week-long diaries that are mailed to the homes — had never yielded such a drastic swing, the critics contended that the new technique must somehow be unreliable.”