A lot of pontificators and prognosticators out there love to talk about how newspapers are dying and will eventually vanish quicker than a plate of hot dogs in Kirstie Alley’s kitchen.
Granted, newspaper circulation is dropping all over the country, but readership isn’t.
Editor & Publisher this week posted a story about a recent study from Scarborough Research that 74 percent of adults in the U.S. read a newspaper in print or online over a one week period.
The study goes on to say that 79 percent of so-called “white collar” workers read newspapers in some form. Eighty-two percent of people in households with incomes of $100,000 or more read the paper in some form.
So much for the notion that newspapers are becoming irrelevant.
Numbers are great, but more important is what those numbers mean.
Over the past several years, the newspaper industry has undergone a transformation where the print copy isn’t the only way to get the news out.
Yes, there have been drops in circulation. The latest study from the Audit Bureau of Circulation showed over a six-month period ending in September, daily circulation plunged 10.6 percent while Sunday circulation dropped 7.4 percent.
But people obviously still rely on newspapers, in some fashion, to get the news. More importantly, given the fact that newspapers aren’t relying on national and international stories to drive their content, people are relying on newspapers to get their local news.
In other words, the industry isn’t going anywhere. It’s just changing, that’s all.