August 18, 2008

No comfort in latest figures

Community newspapers like to point out that they are doing better than their big-city brethren. But there's only some comfort in the latest news out from the biennial news consumption survey by the Pew Center for the People & the Press.

From the Editor & Publisher story:

Weeklies, however, are doing a little better: "At a time when daily newspapers are losing readers, the audience for local weekly community newspapers has remained relatively stable. Currently, 33% say they read such newspapers regularly, about the same as in 2006 (35%) and 2004 (36%)....

"As is the case with daily newspapers, however, weekly community newspapers are much more popular with older people than young people. Four-in-ten of those 50 and older say they regularly a community newspaper, double the percentage of those 24 and younger (19%)."
Bottom line: Weeklies can't afford not to have online strategies, either, because that's where young readers are going. Yet some recent research from the University of South Carolina presented at a COMJIG session at the annual AEJMC conference showed that many still do not have a Web presence.

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