Sunday, December 21, 2008

The future for the US newspaper industry looks bleak

American newspaper circulation has been sliding downwards for a couple of decades, but the rate of descent has picked up pace as readers have migrated in increasing numbers to the internet.

The latest round of figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) in October underlined the seriousness of the problem.

They showed the New York Times, long the flagship of American newspaper journalism, suffering a 4.1 per cent circulation decline for its Sunday edition year-on-year, and a 3.6 per cent fall for the Monday toSaturday editions of the paper.

The Los Angeles Times fell by just over 5 per cent in both categories.

The two biggest-selling newspapers in the nation, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, were hailed for their accomplishment in simply maintaining their existing circulations - they sell around 2.3 million and 2 million copies, respectively. Other titles, less well-known internationally but revered domestically, suffered precipitous drops.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was the worst performing of the nation’s 25 biggest papers. Its circulation plunged by over 13 per cent.

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