Upside-Down Claim Down Under? Aussie Newspaper Groups Says Online Not Cannibalizing Print

By: E&P Staff

The Newspaper Works, an Australian newspaper industry group, is out with consumer study
that no doubt will be greeted with some skepticism.

“Newspapers Today Part 2: Print & Online” surveyed 1,000 Australians and concludes that newspaper Web sites complement rather than cannibalize their reader audiences.

According to Newspaper Works, readers find newspapers and newspaper Web sites more “absorbing,” dynamic,” and “reputable” than they did in a similar study two years ago.

The study says consumers turn to online and print for different sorts of specific information. It found readers go to printed newspapers for information about real estate, automobiles, dining out and sports, while they use newspaper online sites for gossip, travel and technology topics.

Printed newspapers were cited by respondents as presenting the most “reputable” content. Some 37% of respondents chose the print newspaper, 23% newspaper Web sites, and 51% selected both.

The study comes just days after a report on Australian circulation for the fourth quarter of 2009 showing an overall decline of 2% in print newspapers. The Newspapers Work argued after that report that online was barely denting print.

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