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 Why is circulation declining? What do experts say?

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Marty W



Number of posts : 5
Registration date : 2006-12-20

PostSubject: Why is circulation declining? What do experts say?   Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:18 pm

Some of you may laugh at my "stupid question." Go ahead, laugh.

I really think most of us newspaper people don't know why circulation is declining -- not in the rigorous way that sociologists would say they "know" something about society or an economist knows the economy.

What percentage of our decline can be ascribed to increasing immigration by non-English reading people?

What effect is the preference of people for the Internet having? People young and old, male and female? Rich, poor, brown, black and white? Do they seek news, other information or entertainment?

What effect does free Internet news have on people's decision not to buy a paper? (How many workplace injuries at newspapers could be avoided by knowing the answer to that one?)

Is America less literate than it used to be or is it more alterate? Or not?

Is the decline affecting metropolitan papers more than suburban papers or small community newspapers? Why?

Has news content become less appealing? Or has the same old news turned off a changed audience? What topics do readers want to read about that we're missing?

Are writing style, brevity, depth or graphics factors? Have those factors been measured, polled or focused upon in clear, simple ways?

Are we passť? Can we become hip (or hep) again or is the problem paper itself?

Are newspapers a losing cause? Which of the answers point to problems we can do something about and which are beyond our control?

This industry if full of smart people, who care about the decline in paid circulation. We have publishers and circulation managers and marketing directors who have been to college -- who have been taught to think at this level.

Most of us, I think, have failed to take the time to really study this problem. But I bet some of us have.

Who's holding out? Maybe some can answer some questions, others other questions. Let's share our knowledge.

If we don't know, Houston, we have a problem.


Last edited by on Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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EricaCNPA

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Number of posts : 142
Age : 37
Registration date : 2007-06-13

PostSubject: Re: Why is circulation declining? What do experts say?   Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:15 pm

It's not a whole answer (the question is so complex), but I'd have to say it's hard to see the forest through the trees. There are so many news sources out there, many customized to our particular niche of interest, the the generalized news source the newspapers provide are becoming less and less necessary. From a readers point of view, why page through a huge paper when you can hit the computer and have personalized news sent straight to your mailbox of feed reader?
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Marty W



Number of posts : 5
Registration date : 2006-12-20

PostSubject: Thanks Erica   Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:48 am

I think your response was very thoughtful, actually. Please don't apologize.

Clearly you are in a group of people who wants very specific information one topic at a time and would rather use the Internet than work with the newspaper format which is not only too broad in a topical senses, but too narrow in a time (historical) sense. I get that now, thanks to you.

What I still don't know, however, is how many people your concern represents. It may be huge or it may be small. I'm still looking for a sociologist or an economist to break that down. But your answer was definitely helpful.

Gratefully, Marty Weybret
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