Newspapers Making a Move

Newspapers Making a Move

Lucia Moses, of Editor and Publisher, has done an excellent job of summarizing an informal survey of newspapers across the country, and recognizing formal studies by leading research companies, to conclude that if the spikes dailies experienced in the days after the terror attacks, could if sustained, put the industry on a growth track for the first time in 40 years.

Of 40 dailies surveyed by Editor & Publisher in a 10 day period, 34 reported that their circulation had grown, with many reporting increases in the 0.5% to 1.5% range. She says that there is evidence at many dailies that single copy sales are turning into subscribers. Moses reports that John Murray, vice president of circulation marketing for the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), says "We could be positive for both readership and circulation in the next 12 months."

Findings by the Pew Research Center reported that three weeks after Sept. 11, fewer people kept their TVs and radios tuned to news, but there was no drop-off in how the public used newspapers to stay informed. The report shows that 67% still kept watch on TV coverage, down from 81% during Sept. 13-17, while half said they were reading the newspaper more closely.

Though advertisers have viewed newspapers as a medium in decline, she says, fragmentation is getting ever worse in competing media. The Net has proved more a direct-marketing than an advertising medium. If papers are growing, particularly among the young, they could regain their historic position as the No. 1 ad medium.

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