Sunday, January 06, 2008

Print Paper Readership Down in UK Too

According to this Guardian Unlimited story, readers of newspapers fell almost 20 % over 14 years.

Specifically, a government-sponsored readership survey found that adults reading at least one national print newspaper a day in the UK fell from 26.7 million in 1992, to 21.7 million in 2006. That's a drop of 5 million readers. In terms of adult population, the statistic went from 59% in 1992 to 45% in 2006.

There were a couple of exceptions: The Times and Daily Mail boosted their readership in that period. According to the story, the Times accomplished this by "an aggressive cost-cutting strategy in the mid-1990s." (Yeah, like that explains the boost in circulation. What newspaper hasn't tried to stop the bleeding by an aggressive cost-cutting strategy? But their readership doesn't usually go up, so there's got to be another bit o' information.)

Other stories (like this one) point to bumps in online readership for some papers. But does that mean people are reading the papers regularly? OTOH, does a subscription mean you read your paper regularly?

I hate that cliche 'paradigm shift' but I'd rather use it than wail and moan about declining circulation. Times are changing and writers need to do our best to keep up or even anticipate where the paying work is going to be. For the record, I'm proving abysmal at this--like many others!

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