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Decline in Newspaper Sales: Causes and Impact on the Industry

Investigate the factors contributing to the decline in newspaper sales and the rise of online news platforms, including technological developments, economic changes, and the impact of social media on news consumption.

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Added on  2023-06-11

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The sale of newspapers globally has declined due to factors like technology, economic changes, change in interest, and rise of social media and citizen journalism. This report analyzes the decline in newspaper sales in countries like USA, Australia, and UK. It examines whether the decline has occurred due to economic causes or due to change in lifestyle and dependence on social media. The report suggests ways for newspapers to reach their audience.

Decline in Newspaper Sales: Causes and Impact on the Industry

Investigate the factors contributing to the decline in newspaper sales and the rise of online news platforms, including technological developments, economic changes, and the impact of social media on news consumption.

   Added on 2023-06-11

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The sale of newspaper globally has declined and this decline in sales can be attributed to
factors like influence of technology, economic changes, change in interest and rise of social
media and citizen journalism. These factors provide readers news ways to access news and
received world news without wasting much time. Such technologies and social media platform
enables them to maintain fats pace and receive news from credible source too (Bird, 2009). Now,
people can get all news on portable devices like smart phones and tablets. However, the quality
of news available from different source is criticized as many news may not be true because of
revenue issues in advertising (Bruns & Highfield, 2012). In online platform, news are constantly
updated and it also provides public the opportunity to voice their opinion related to any event or
news. Social media has also become a common source which gives public the opportunity to
share news and events as per their interest without extra effort (Berte & DeBens, 2008). Internet
or Web 2.0 can be regarded as the major reason for transformation of the way news is received
and shared across public. To understand other factor that is leading to decline in newspaper sale,
it is necessary to access gap between execution, distribution and ways to access online news
(Howe, 2006; Tapscott, 2008; Li & Bernoff, 2008). The main purpose of this report is to analyze
the issue of decline in newspaper sales in the world particularly countries like USA, Australia
and UK. It also examines whether the decline has occurred due to economic causes or dure
change in lifestyle and dependence on social media.
According to the New York Times report, a total of 500, 000 digital subscriptions were
received in the year 2016 contributing to rise in subscription by 47%. According audit statement
by Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal received more than 150, 000 digital subscription and it leads
to arise in subscription by 23%. Another online newspaper source, the Chicago Tribune achieved
76% over-year gain by adding about 1, 00, 000 subscription. This figure for Chicago Tribune
was provided by the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), an organization that looks at daily
newspaper figures. However, the increase in circulation growth does not translate to growth of
the industry. The analysis of Pew Research Center data showed that weekly circulation of both
digital and print newSpaper declines by 8% in 2016 and this was not a year phenomenon.
Instead, it marked 28th year of decline. The decline for week days circulation was 10% and the
decline for weekly digital circulation was 1%. In figures, total weekday circulation for US
decreases to 35 million compared to 38 million for total Sunday circulation. The link was that the
decline in circulation occurred when double digit decline for advertising revenue occurred.
Another research done by Pew Research Center for US newspaper companies explains that
decline in advertising revenue in recent years is more alarming evidenced by a 10% decline in
2016 compared to 8% in 2015 (Barthel, 2017).
Decline in Newspaper Sales: Causes and Impact on the Industry_1
Another report sums up the total digital subscription for popular news paper. For
example, The Wall Street Journal received 1, 50, 000 subscription, the Chicago Tribune added 1,
00, 000 and the New York Times received 5, 00, 000 digital subscription. The decline in print
subscription can be attributed not only to rise in digital subscription, but also because of the rise
in social media platforms. A report published in the Washington Post explained that social media
sites now address traditional questions like what, so what and now what in an innovative manner,
thus attracting people’s attention. Facebook, Twitter and Google News offers new and easier
ways for the public to see and analyze the ‘what’ of news. News organizers also focus on ‘so
what’ and ‘now what’. The reported Chris Cillizza explains that newspaper should critically
think of ways to reach the audience and focus on ‘so what’ of news apart from ‘what’ of the
news story. ‘What’ of news can be available from many sources, however details on ‘so what’
and ‘now what’ makes the news unique.
Hence, from the above explanation for U.S, it can be said that journalism needs to evolve
and transform with time. The New York Times has 2.3 million digital subscribers currently and
the Wall Street has 1.27 million digital subscriber. The Washington Post recently achieved the 1
million figures. Other news organization like LA Times and the Star-Tribune are also gradually
moving towards 50, 000 digital subscribers goal. Hence, people are interested in news from
around the world, however there interest is on receiving these news from different and accessible
The Daily Telegraph of United Kingdom adopted metered pay wall that allowed some of
the free articles for ensuring that the brand is visible in the social media but demanding cash in
case of usage in further basis. The daily have started holding back some of the content
exclusively for the subscribers by switching tack to a subscription service which is premium.
Another daily, The Guardian has initiated championship at the open model by pinning
faith on the global reach by monetization without proper subscription. But it had degrading and
creaking finances. The Guardian Media group suffered a loss of £69 m and the nest egg over
which it sits, is aiming to disappear on a faster rate than the planned one. The voluntary
membership scheme of the group is not enabling the derivation of sufficient returns. Hence the
alteration and the switch of directions in the upcoming future seem totally inevitable.
The free model by the London Evening Standards, which tend to give away the paper
successfully for the achievement of higher rate of circulation, can further be sold at a higher
yield to the advertisers. But be that as it may, what works in one of the world's most dynamic
capital urban communities won't work all around.
The other dailies and news papers have initiated stepping up their partisanship with the
idea and the hope that the impact and the sensationalism will tend to consolidate the notion of
their core relationship. Amol Rajan , the media editor of the BBC news in an open interview
Decline in Newspaper Sales: Causes and Impact on the Industry_2
stated that the British press is biased on industrialized confirmation. He furthermore stated that
the echo chambers are not a new concept and they are not at all dependent or confined to the
online world of social media. Instead they have been the best examples of business models for
the tabloid press for number of decades. But, the rate of circulation for the most rabid tabloids
has been falling in a continuous basis in the current scenario.
The niche audience of the nation is generally served with some of the differentiated and
distinctive contents by the targeted magazines like the Financial Times. One of the best lessons
in this context is that if the readers and the audiences are served with the best and the original
contents, they won’t go for any other option and the readers will pay for it. The recipe of the
financial times regarding the quality of the content for the group of loyal readers tends to attract
premium advertisers to work for them with the context of the virtue of the specialist brief. In the
similar context, Tom Standage, the deputy editor of The Economist foresees the chances and the
possibility of the super-premium subscription of £400 for his magazine by the year 2050.
Perhaps there lies a major lesson for the local press where the hollowing out of the
newspapers and the newsrooms are gaining further momentum. As per the demands of the
shareholders the returns are kept up and the one and only answers is to cut the overheads of the
As per the consequences the local content that are distinctive are disappearing, dropping
circulation and entering free fall. Those daily which have adopted the strategy of digital first
have also ended up with the trawl social media for the policy for free content which has
undermined the print product. Ray Snoddy, the veteran media commentator pointed out in the
book about the number of various stories that have been published in some of the local
newspapers of Britain has suddenly fallen or dropped by 85 percent and the related revenues
have fallen by 82 percept from the peak season as compared to the past few years.
Invest or Die
The founder of the Tindle newspapers, Sir Ray Tindle explained how he is still successful
by focusing and concentrating on the most local titles in the context of local news. He owns 220
titles in the south of England and he gave some of the best lessons in the context.
One of the main lessons from the context is that journalism is not a commodity overhead.
Journalism is the core purpose of the newspaper. Hence cut your peril. The pop up success of the
newspaper, The New European initiate the launch to serve the disenfranchised 48 percent
referendum remain voters. Low cost operations and highly targeted journalism can initiate the
work. The editor of the New European, Matt Kelly recently stated that the daily, the new
European would have disappeared as the online only website. This is because the daily required
the physical presence on the news stand to be recognized, identified and talked about.
Decline in Newspaper Sales: Causes and Impact on the Industry_3

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