Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Circuation Falling at Most Newspapers

This Editor & Publisher story (http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003667950) is not a surprise to me, especially when I think of our local newspaper, the Virginian Pilot, where the concept of investigative reporting is none existent and any news concerning matters outside of the area usually involves wire service stories or stories available 1-3 days earlier in larger papers. The Pilot is basically a platform for selling advertisements and sadly not much more. I have often jokingly said that for a decent salary I could do the job of several reporters and actually cover some news and perhaps stir up some changes in corrupt local politics, etc. Here are some story highlights:
NEW YORK The Audit Bureau of Circulations released circulation numbers for more than 700 daily newspapers this morning for the six-month period ending September 2007. Of the top 25 papers in daily circulation (see chart, separate story), only four showed gains. According to an analysis of ABC figures, for 538 daily U.S. newspapers, circulation declined 2.5% to 40,689,617. For 609 papers that filed on Sunday, overall circulation dropped 3.5% to 46,771,486. The percentages are based on comparisons from the same period a year ago and represent the majority of the paper's reporting into ABC -- less than half in the country.
With the rise of the Internet, newspapers in my view need to be more responsive to the desire for investigative stories that state the facts and let the reader decide their conclusion. The papers also need to do a better job at regularly updating the online versions as well, otherwise bloggers cover the stories before the newspapers ever get off their butts.

1 comment:

Java said...

Good grief. Don't get me started on our local paper. Ooops, too late. The Index-Journal (Greenwood, SC) is a mullet wrapper of the first order. Like the Pilot there are no stories from outside the area that aren't from wire services. Even then the so called editors chop off the stories to fit the column length available, so often the stories are incomplete and confusing. Local stories are often incomplete, obscure, very poorly written, and the grammar is atrocious. I like reading the local bookings report for the week in Friday's paper. And on Monday the business page includes The Motley Fool. But this news paper represents the town pretty well. Another example of why I want to GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!