March 7, 2016
Newspapers: Dead Media Walking
Richard Tofel inThe sky is falling on print newspapers faster than you think notes:
The simple chart below lays out the numbers for “total average print circulation” of the nation’s 25 largest newspapers as of March 2013. These are the basis for the figures you get if you Google search the issue or look for a list on Wikipedia. Then the chart compares these with the number of copies most recently reported to the Alliance for Audited Media (in September 2015) for “individually paid print circulation,” that is the number of copies being bought by subscription or at newsstands. This is the best indication of consumer demand for the product. In both cases, the figures are for weekday average circulation. Sunday numbers are generally higher.
A few quick observations:
Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 7, 2016 4:17 PM
- There remain only two print newspapers in the entire country (the Wall Street Journal and New York Times) that sell more than a half million copies per average weekday, only six that sell a quarter of a million copies and probably [correction: not many more than] 22 that sell more than 100,000.
- To be sure, the comparisons are not apples-to-apples. The 2013 figures include promotional copies. But the 2015 figures are not only more recent, but a better indication of consumer behavior — and the best measure of the audience most print advertisers are seeking to reach.
- Nearly everyone in publishing with whom I shared the 2015 paid figures found them surprisingly low. There is no question that they are dramatically lower than the widely available 2013 numbers.
- If the 2013 numbers represent the “reality” that even industry professionals have in their heads, but the 2015 numbers represent the facts on the ground, how long can it be before print advertising prices (and thus newspaper revenues) come under further severe pressure?
I have always detested the newspaper. Physically it is ugly, awkward to handle, dirty, and noisy. The smell of ink on newsprint is a bitter stench that I've never been able to tolerate- especially around food. I will not sit at a table with someone reading a newspaper.
Couple that with the lies, and relentless left wing proselytizing, and I'd be hard pressed to come up with a less appealing product. Die already.
My mother in law says they make good linings for the bottoms of her 3 bird cages. Speaking of MIL, she subscribes to the biggest city in the state paper and reads it online and often finds discrepancies in the articles between the 2 versions. IOW, an article in the paper version isn't the same as the same article in the online version.
They are increasingly being bought by billionaires for reasons of prestige and political power. They are not viewed as an investment but a toy, a bauble, like a trophy wife, a depreciating asset and a future liability. Totally worth it at the time.
The Wall Street Journal has the best writing, (though as with all else in life caution and discretion are suggested while reading), but outside of a elevator lobby they seem unable to deliver a physical paper reliably. And it is the physical paper that is at question here.
The Weekend (Sat/Sun) copy is now $4.00. Daily is $3.00. Plug those numbers into the circulation figures comparing 2013 to today.
Still number one for killing spiders.
JWM, contrary to your thought (but not you, sir!), newspapers are considered a field-expedient "sterile field". Was taught that in an early 1980s AACOG Law Enforcement Academy class. Specifically, what to use in which to deliver a newborn under emergency conditions, as well as packing of a wound if necessary.
Now, that's an unsold, perfectly intact paper from inside the stack, not the top or bottom of the bundle, and damn sure not the one that Chester the Molester was wanking into at the local playground.
As far as your editorial appreciation though, you are exactly correct, sir. The odds of a given paper being left wing dreck are roughly the same as the house winning in the long run in Vegas.
Sunk New Dawn
Photoshops can break your heart, can't they!
Couldn't happen to more deserving organizations. The newspapers long ago turned themselves into Pravda for the leftists. Here's what George Orwell said about the left-wing journalists and intellectuals. ‘Do remember that dishonesty and cowardice always have to be paid for. Don’t imagine that for years on end you can make yourself the boot-licking propagandist of the Soviet régime, or any other régime, and then suddenly return to mental decency. Once a whore, always a whore.’
I used to work for a small-town daily with a circulation of 9,000. I started as a photographer (which I loved) then became the Lifestyles Editor (which I did not love). My co-workers and I worked hard to deliver the best we could every day. My newspaper belonged to a libertarian chain of papers, which meant we didn't endorse candidates and nor did we encourage citizens to vote! Public schools had to pay for advertising special events, and the largest advertiser had no more influence than a single reader. Being a libertarian paper gave us enormous freedom.