Monday, July 28, 2008

Price up, circulation down at the Sunday Times, but is local lekker?

Press the panic button

Major newspaper publishers are reporting significant falls in ad revenue and the internet is gobbling up classified. So can print media bounce back from this downturn?

Times raises newsstand price amid falling profits

In 2006, The Sunday Times, Britain's first £2 newspaper, saw its circulation fall 3.74% in September compared 2005, according to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Although circulations are falling across the board, newspapers hope to maintain their revenues by increasing cover prices.

Today when I visited SPAR at around 5pm, the newspaper racks appeared untouched. Usually there wouldn't be a Sunday Times left come lunchtime. Now it looks as though very few were purchased at all. People are obviously sukkeling, and cutting down on non essential expenses.

I think at times like these people wonder how relevant all those New York Times stories actually are in these times - in Johannesburg. I know I want to know what is happening in my city, in my neighborhood, in my country.

Is this the beginning of the beginning for online news in SA, and the end of newspapers (which have to be a strain on forests, see above graphic) or are both going to take a hit? I wonder. I find it hard to believe we can have both.

I ended up walking out of SPAR with a chocolate eclair, some tomatoes, blitz and braai chicken. Money well spent I'd say.

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