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Nielsen//NetRatings: War Drives Traffic to News, Financial Sites

Traffic to general and financial news sites shot up in the week ending March 23, the first full week of the Iraq war, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

A study by the market researcher said leading online news destinations witnessed double- and triple-digit growth week over week nationwide.

Reminiscent of the surge in online traffic after September 11th, consumption of such online news during the workday outpaced activity at home.

CNN.com crossed the 10 million-mark at work for the week ending March 23, a 58 percent increase from the previous week. MSNBC.com saw 8.3 million visitors, up 38 percent, and Yahoo News was up 21 percent to 6.5 million. NYTimes.com attracted more than 2.8 million visitors at work, and AOL News drew 2.7 million unique visitors.

In terms of percentage growth, traffic to Time magazine's time.com site jumped 169 percent to more than 1 million visitors. Britain's Guardian newspaper was next with a 137 percent increase to 835,000 visitors at guardian.co.uk. Fox News' site recorded a 78 percent surge to more than 2.3 million office workers, and NPR Online was 73 percent higher at 540,000 visitors.

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