I like to start my day reading the newspaper as I have breakfast. But I see the circulation figures published a recently show that the circulation of just about every mainstream daily newspaper in Australia declined in the 3 months to the end of June. Apparently, Monday to Friday figures for the Age fell by 14% (year-on-year), and the equivalent figure for the Herald-Sun was 5.1%. For some reason, the Australian's fall was less, at 0.7%.
that I read attributed the fall in the Age's circulation to "raising cover prices and weeding out
loss-making and marginal sales" (whatever this may mean). From a
personal perspective, my impression is that the well-publicised cost
reductions at the Age have resulted in a noticeable decline in
standards and an increase in sensationalism. Perhaps this is being reflected in the figures?
that I can't quite contemplate a digital world where I read the news on
a tablet or e-reader of some kind as I digest my muesli, I am concerned
about the future. I hope that there will be a place for quality print
media (not just freebies like mX) for some time yet. I note that newspapers
such as the Canberra Times and the Mercury manage to survive on circulation figures far lower than the Age is likely to descend to in the foreseeable
future (even if there are aspects of these papers that are less than perfect), and my newsagent has a range of ethnic papers (at least one of which is daily, Monday to Saturday) that
presumably have even lower circulation figures. So perhaps with some adjustment, survival is not inconsistent with the maintenance of at least a degree of quality. But I worry that the Age isn't listening.
EDIT 18 August: I see that the price of the Saturday Age has today been increased to $3, and that the price of the Herald-Sun has increased as well.