Monday, October 26, 2009

Extra, Extra: Readers Abandon Newspapers in Droves

Front page of the New York Times on Armistice ...Image via Wikipedia
The bad news just keeps coming for print journalists.  An analysis of data from the industry-funded Audit Bureau of Circulations finds newspaper readership has plunged to pre-World War II lows.

Following an average 11 percent drop in circulation over the past six months, circulation figures are approximately 39.1 million, which translates into fewer than 13 percent of the U.S. population buying a daily newspaper. The figures are worse than the 41.1 million papers sold in 1940, the first year circulation figures were tracked by the Newspaper Association of America.

Sunday newspaper sales are even more troubling--40.9 million, down an average 7.5 percent over the past six months, and the lowest figure since 39.9 million in 1945. Whereas 28.5 percent of American homes saw a Sunday paper in 1945, today, only 13.5 percent of homes receive the Sunday paper.

The latest study should make the ink-stained more wretched than ever.
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  1. What about the funnies? Don't people buy the Sunday papers for the comics? Dick Tracy, Alley Oop, Brenda Starr? Or am I dating myself?

  2. I'm afraid you are. I recently looked, unsuccessfully, for a Road Runner novelty in the toy section of a large, well-known department store. When I asked a circa late-'30s-aged clerk for assistance, she stared blankly at me, thought for a moment, then said, "Oh no, that's old!"