Home Outlook for Printed Newspapers: Bleak

Outlook for Printed Newspapers: Bleak

According to Editor & Publisher, daily circulation for the 395 newspapers that reported data to the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) this month fell 7% in the last six months to about 34 million. Sunday circulation, which is traditionally a lot higher than daily circulation, also fell 5.3% to about 42 million. Of the top 25 newspapers, only the Wall Street Journal, which still hides most of its online content behind a paywall, saw a small increase in its numbers (0.6%), while almost half of the top 25 papers saw double-digit declines, with the Atlanta Journal Constitution losing almost 20% of its daily circulation.

Some papers, however, were able to gain readers as well. Most of these were smaller papers like the Memphis Commercial Appeal, which gained almost 31%, or the Wisconsin State Journal, which distributes less than 100,000 daily copies, but saw its daily circulation grow 10%. At least for the Commerical Appeal, however, these numbers actually mask a 14% decline in paid circulation, as most of its gains came from electronic editions used for Newspaper in Education programs.

Even though we mostly consume our news on the web, a lot of us here at RWW still love the printed paper, but given these numbers, it is hard not to think that the printed paper as we know it today will soon be a thing of the past.

Image used courtesy of Flickr user Matt Callow.

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