Monday, May 02, 2005

Circulation problems

In this Associated Press story, the Washington Post reports the circulation woes of America's newspapers.
Circulation fell broadly at major newspapers in the six-month period ending in March as the industry struggled with the impact of do-not-call rules, competition from other media and the migration of readers online.
The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle each showed readership declines of over 6 percent and the average paid circulation of the 814 newspapers surveyed declined 1.9 percent.

The industry was quick to blame electronic media and the internet for the losses and the new federal do-not-call list for papers' inability to sign up new subscribers.

But what about credibility problems caused by their biased and sometime fraudulent reporting (Jayson Blair, et al)? Aren't many Americans just fed up with the quality of many newspapers?

I'm also a little intrigued by the idea that newspapers were so dependent on phone solicitation to sell subscriptions. Do a lot of people really decide to subscribe to a paper because someone called during dinner to offer a great deal on 12 months of home delivery?

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