New Study Points to Healthy Newspaper Readership

By: Jennifer Saba

A new study from Scarborough Research finds that 74% of adults — nearly 171 million — in the United States read a newspaper in print or online during the past week.

This number counters the notion that newspapers no longer impact consumers. “Given the fragmentation of media choices, printed newspapers are holding onto their audiences relatively well,” Gary Meo, Scarborough’s senior vice president of print and digital media services, said in a statement.

The data is the latest analysis of Scarborough Integrated Newspaper Audience (INA) report that measures the audience of the newspaper industry.

Furthermore, Scarborough found that 79% of adults who are employed in “white collar” jobs read a newspaper online or in print; that 82% of adults with a household income of $100,000 or more read a newspaper in print or online; and 84% of adults who have college or advanced degrees do the same.

“The Scarborough news is noteworthy in the wake of the recent FAS-FAX report form the Audit Bureau of Circulations which reported significant declines in weekday and Sunday printed newspaper circulation,” Meo said.

ABC said that overall, daily circulation for the six months ending September 2009 plunged 10.6% while Sunday circulation fell 7.4%.

“While Scarborough shows declines in printed newspaper readership, these have not been as severe as those reported in circulation. This is because circulation and audience do not always march in lockstep as they are two different measurements,” Meo added.

ABC counts the number of copies sold, while Scarborough counts people who have read newspapers.

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