This weekend, Editor and Publisher released some data on the most popular newspaper websites. Not surprisingly, the New York Times was at the top of the list with 12,960,000 unique visitors in February 2007.,,, and the Wall Street Journal Online rounded out the top five.

You can see the entire list of newspaper statistics here.

While I would like to know more about how these figures were calculated, I think that data like this is really important. It give mainstream media outlets a mechanism for evaluating benchmarks and accurately assessing how they are doing online compared to their competitiors. As more and more newspapers begin to reevaluate their online programs, reliable data like this will be an important factor in determining the direction that these websites pursue.