State of the News Media 2016: Newspapers Risa Anderson

Welcome to the Recession: Newspapers are Losing Their Popularity

In 2015 weekday circulation of the newspaper is down 7 percent, and Sunday circulation is down 4 percent. This is the biggest percentage decrease the newspaper circulation has seen in 5 years. Overall, there has been a downward trend, not just in circulation, but in advertising revenue and consumption in general. This also means that the newspaper workforce is down. Over the past 20 years their workforce has lost over 20,000 positions. This decline also leads to consolidation; three of the main newspaper companies have combined themselves into one brand during the last year.

Although there is a significant decline, printed newspaper is still a major way people receive their news. "In 2015, print circulation makes up 78% of weekday circulation and 86% of all Sunday circulation." In fact, 51 percent of people who claimed to read the newspaper regularly, read it exclusively in print in comparison to the 5 percent who exclusively read digitally.

Regardless of how these statistics come across, it is important to note that a large portion of those consuming news are being left out of the study. The people included are self-reporting, not those that come across news stories and do not comprehend that they are doing so or those that are counted as digital traffic.

The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) stopped reporting national revenue in 2014, but the last reported figure was 37.6 billion. With a heavier emphasis on advertising revenue rather than circulation, but still a large amount. Now, over the years economists must come up with proxies in order to estimate yearly revenues. This number helps give us meaning and make sense of the industry.

There has been a major decrease in newsroom employment, among all groups of workers. While the decrease has hit men and women equally, women have never been able to match the amount of male employees since they began working with the newspaper industry. Women make up roughly 37 percent of employees. Other minority groups have not declined, but stayed at a steady 13 percent of the newspaper workforce. Earlier this year, a study found that there are also significant wage gaps between races and genders.

Normally newspapers tend to spin off into their own, however in the past year the consolidation has been the bigger trend. Overall the value of newspapers and their companies have declined, and the number of companies has shrunk tremendously. Either through joining forces with other companies or closing their doors for good, a trend has begun and there are less papers and competition landing on our porches.

In 2015, audiences from the digital newspaper world continued to shift to mobile devices. Unique traffic visits rose this past year, while time spent on the pages dropped. So there is essentially more traffic and "clicks" but less attention to the detail and actual consumption of the article.



Created with images by ChristopherPluta - "old newspaper newspaper the 1960s" • NS Newsflash - "Newspapers B&W (5)" • 1588877 - "background abstract vintage newspaper" • NS Newsflash - "Newspapers B&W (4)" • stevepb - "newspaper news media" • MichaelGaida - "news daily newspaper press" • Pexels - "bundle jute rope newspaper" • stevepb - "newspaper news media print media"

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