December's newspaper ABC sales figures put a wrap on 2012. It wasn't, on the face of it, a great year. Circulations kept sliding – by as much as a headline 34.7% for the Independent and 14.2% at the FT. Advertising didn't recover. Where there'd been losses in 2011, there were more in the months that followed. And yet – curiously – the encircling gloom grows too much to take. There are reasons to be very cautiously cheerful about 2013.

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