Friday, May 2, 2008

Readership is up

The decline in the newspaper industry's paid circulation can't be denied. The statistics don't lie.

But newspapers continue to make it worse for themselves by reporting on their dwindling numbers without emphasizing a different startling fact: More people are reading newspapers today than ever before!

That's right. If you combine the number of people who purchase a newspaper each day with those who visit a newspaper's Internet site at least once a day, you'll discover that newspaper readership is through the roof. That goes for just about every newspaper about which I'm aware, including the Freeman.

It's a message that should resonate with advertisers and readers alike. It should also get the attention of public figures who mistakenly believe newspapers aren't "where it's at." Again, the statistics don't lie. But newspapers don't do a good enough job telling people this story.

Imagine walking up to a retail store and seeing a sign in the window that says, "Fewer people shopping here these days." It would never happen. Who'd want to go into a place like that? But that's what the newspapers of America are telling their customers. Hardly a way to maintain enthusiasm.

So, with apologies to JFK, let the word go forth: People read newspapers. Lots of people. Every day.
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