Despite declining readership over the past 30 years, researchers said newspapers are healthy products with 85% of the adult population using a newspaper on a weekly basis, according to a study by the Readership Institute at the Media Management Center at Northwestern University. "We've not been this strong since the forties," said John Lavine, director of the Institute.
Looking at newspaper vs TV shows on the same Sunday, the study found that
- 43 million adults watched the premier of "Survivor,"
- 86 million tuned in to the Super Bowl
-132 million adults read the newspaper
A representative sample of 37,000 readers included:
- 48.5% male
- 51.5% female
- 48.4 years average age
- 72.6% attended some college
- 30% earning $75,000 annually
- 19% earning $55,000-$75,000 annually
- 23% earning $35,000-$55,000 annually
Small and large papers were chosen in proportion to their representation in the country and ranged from the Houston Chronicle to the Quincy (Ill.) Herald-Whig to the Chicago Tribune.
The survey measured readers' behavior and usage of their newspaper on weekdays and weekends. Over the next year, the Readership Institute will continue to analyze the numbers, looking at gender, ethnic and age differences, and to outline more clearly how to attract more readers.
You may wish to contact John Lavine at the Media Management Center at Northwestern University. Read the online release.