Friday, August 07, 2009

More Sad News for the Fourth Estate

In case you missed it, The New York Times has reported that the rate of decline in print circulation at the nation’s newspapers plummeted more than 7% in April compared with the previous year. And we’re not just talking second and third tier papers. Of the top 25 newspapers in the United States, all posted declines in circulation, with the exception of the Wall Street Journal, which posted a tiny 0.6% gain.

And a new study released by the Center for the Digital Future at USC Annenberg School for Communication finds that:

• Globally 22% of newspaper readers have recently dropped their print and magazine subscriptions because they can read them online.
• In 2008, Internet users spent 53 minutes per week reading online newspapers, compared with 41 minutes in 2007. Heavy internet users spend 63 more minutes a week reading newspapers online than light users.
• While teenagers don’t read newspapers, they are more interested in the news than most previous generations.
• Those who love their print newspapers are extremely loyal and will miss them terribly if they go away.

Jeff Cole, who leads this eight-year ongoing study of Internet, has been an outstanding guest speaker at a number of Makovsky-sponsored events for our tech and health groups. His work underscores why clients can’t afford to ignore online and social media.

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