Newspaper Circulation Still Declining

Monday, April 26, 2010

Newspaper circulation is still falling according to Monday's figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations as reported in The Huffington Post.

Overall circulation is down 8.7 percent, for the period October 1,2009 through March 31, 2010 compared to that same period last year. Circulation for Sunday papers is down 6.5 percent.

Free news on the Web is still considered a factor. Publishers have increased subscription costs to adjust for lost advertising revenue and of course others have stopped or reduced delivery in certain areas.

The Top 25 newspapers in the country showed major losses.

  • The Washington Post is down 13.1 percent; 8.2 percent down on Sundays.

  • USA Today lost 13.6 percent - partially contributed to the slump in travel because it is popular in hotels and airports. It is now at the number two spot.

  • The Wall Street Journal had a gain of .5 percent and now has the highest circulation at 2.09 million as it surpassed USA Today as the top newspaper. Although this is somewhat misleading because looser auditing standards allows it to count its digital online replica in the subscription count. In essence providing a double count. The Journal's paid online circulation rose by 31,000 offsetting the printed editions decline of 20,000.

  • The New York Times has the third highest circulation at 951,063, which is a 8.5 percent decline.

  • The San Francisco Chronicle is down 23 percent.

The Wall Street has launched a metro edition in New York City to compete even more agressively with The Times, its biggest competitor in the region.

The president of the Newspaper Association of America, John Sturm, says that you can't judge the industry by these declining numbers, because more and more people are turning to the Web for their news and 100 million adults still say they read a newspaper daily and 168 million read news in print or online daily.

These facts and figures help to paint a clearer picture of the state of the newspaper industry and how it is affecting journalism. I don't know that I would refer to it as a death spiral for the newspapers because people are still reading the news; where they are getting it has changed.

There are just so many options available. It is apparent that the business model has to change as we have heard from various sources throughout the BNR course. Perhaps charging for access does make sense in some instances. I also agree with the idea of public funding to protect the integrity of journalism and insure that students who want to go into journalism for the love of writing and reporting get the opportunity to do so without living in poverty due to thier chosen career.


Integrating Facebook's New Tools

Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has introduced several new tools on its site. These features include using the "Like" function on various sites such as IMDb (a movie database site) and news sites. Another feature is the Recommendations Plugin, which tells you what others on Facebook recommend. The purpose of this tool is to make it easier to share your interests with others.

Sites such as have incorporated this function onto its website, which could possibly benefit news sites. If more and more people are recommending news stories to their friends via Facebook, it could generate more traffic to the site. Also, if people notice that a story has been recommended by several people, they may be more inclined to read it. However, companies obviously should not depend on this to stimulate interest in what they are reporting. People aren't going to recommend everything they read nor will everything they recommend be read by others.


Being Held Captive

Most people will never know what it is like to be held captive in a hostile country. Unfortunately, journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, have an intimate understanding of this. For four months Ling and Lee were held captive in North Korea. The journalist were there on assignment, working on a story about human trafficking. They crossed over into North Korea, without visas, briefly. After help from former President Bill Clinton, North Korea pardoned both journalist. For the first time they will speak on camera about their experiences being held captive. On Wednesday, May 19 at 10/9c, Current TV, will feature the Vanguard special, “Captive in North Korea.” This special will have interviews with both Ling and Lee.

Ling and her sister Lisa Ling, also wrote the book, “Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home,” that comes out May 18.


Make YouTube Work for You

We've been hearing it a lot lately. Facebook and Twitter are two social networking sites that can help your business thrive.

But one very important Website is getting lost in hustle and bustle of new sites: YouTube.

Whether you're an individual starting your own private company, or a large corporation, you can make YouTube work for you. After all, it's called YouTube for a reason.

According to Mashable's Amy-Mae Elliott, there are 10 major ways to use YouTube to its fullest extent.

The first tip is all about your YouTube channel. Elliott suggests customizing it with company information, logo and colors. A second tip is to subscribe to similar companies' channels and appropriate content. Make YouTube 'friends' that have similar interests to what your channel will provide.

Next, go the extra mile and provide subtitles. When getting your company name out there, you don't want to exclude any particular person or group. However, tip number four suggests taking action to remove offensive material. If a user is continually posting irrelevant and inappropriate comments on your videos, remove and/or block them from commenting.

If you remove other users' irrelevant and annoying comments, don't post your own as well. Tip number five is a warning against too many annotations. Annotating your video is sometimes helpful, but having too many comments overlapping the video can be overwhelming for the audience.

If you really feel the need to tell your audience more about your videos, use tags. Tags are helpful because if someone is searching for a certain keyword that you tagged your video as, your videos show up in the search results.

Tagging is a great way to promote your videos, but don't forget about your other options. Use Facebook and Twitter to notify followers and friends of your latest video or content.

Tip number 8 encourages organization. Make sure your channel is organized and professional. You don't want visitors to leave because they can't find their way around your content.

Elliott also promotes using YouTube's analytical tools to stay on top of your followers. These tools can help you figure out who is watching your videos, how do they get there and how often do they revisit your channel.

Last but not least, don't let your hard work go to waste. Everybody hits a dry spell. Don't let it affect you and your channel. Keep it up to date, even if you don't have anything new to post. There is always going to be something you can update. So comment users back, post some pictures and accept those friend requests; just don't leave your channel dormant.


Investigative Reporting on Twitter

Investigative reporting is changing because of the internet, but it is not going away.

Infact an article in the Taipei Times argues that the internet is becoming one of the best sources for information beneficial to investigative reporters. Many reporters feel that the best way to get information is to announce that there is an investigation going on. What better way to do this than to post it on twitter

"I wasn't convinced about Twitter at first, but it quickly turned out to be quite useful for investigating," the Guardian's Paul Lewis says. "Twitter is not just a Web site and not micro-blogging, it is entirely different medium - like e-mail, fax or even newspapers. The way in which information travels on Twitter - the shape of it - is different to anything that we've previously known."

These journalists feel that a great way for them to get the information they need is to tell the Twitter world that they are investigating a subject and let the information role in. They are also using it to bounce ideas off each other and receive ideas from their followers.

They also understand that Twitter cannot just be the end all solution for them getting stories. The fact that anybody can create an account on Twitter and can say anything bothers them so they have developed "Help Me Investigate," which is a crowdsourcing project that allows them to establish a known and trusted audience.

This does not mean that they are edging away from Twitter, though. When it is all said and done with all of the reporters spoken to feel Twitter is a great way to help with investigative reporting.


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