Dependence on Advertising to Blame For Newspaper Downturn, Claims New Study

By: E&P Staff

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) at the University of Oxford

The internet is often held up as the main reason for declining newspaper sales and dwindling revenues. But an assessment of the news industry conducted in seven different countries shows that, contrary to popular belief, in many cases the internet is not the main challenge facing the business of journalism.

The new book finds that even within otherwise comparable, developed democracies with similarly high levels of internet use, there are massive differences in how the newspaper industry has fared in recent years.

It shows that the latest downturns in the industry often can be traced to a combination of a cyclical downturn in advertising revenues-driven by the global recession -and the fragile inherited business models common in some countries that rely more on advertising than on sales. For example, advertising revenues were down 10.4 per cent from 2007 to 2008 in the UK, and 6.3 per cent from 2007 to 2008 in the US.

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