Report: Newspapers Abroad Not Suffering as Badly as American Papers

By: E&P Staff

The New York Times today sheds light on a new report to be published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which illustrates that newspapers abroad are having a better time of it than American papers.

The Paris-based group of wealthy free-market democracies looks at the state of the news business in the 31 O.E.C.D. member states. One major difference noted in the study is U.S. newspapers’ high reliance on advertising, instead of copy sales or subscriptions. In 2008, the report notes, advertising contributed 87% of newspapers’ revenues in the United States, whereas it contributed 53% in Germany, 50% in Britain and only 35% in Japan.

Newspaper industry revenue fell 30% in the United States between 2007 to 2009, the report states. Other countries fared better, with the second-biggest loss posted in Britain (21%), followed by Germany (down 10%), South Korea (down 6%), Australia (down 3%) and Austria (down only 2%).

On the issue of subsidies, one possible remedy being considered by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the report notes that Italy and France are the countries currently providing the biggest direct subsidies to newspapers — but also have some of the lowest levels of newspaper readership.

One option being proposed by the FTC is stronger copyright protections, something also addressed by the O.E.C.D. study, which notes one German proposal to do so. It also calls for stronger reporting online, the Times notes.


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