A week of bad newspaper news

NY Times: What?s Online: Reading Between the LinesThere?s no question the newspaper industry is ?under siege,? as some say. But how bad are things, really?
(N)ewspapers still haven’t figured out how to make a healthy profit from Internet readership. Cluttered, hard-to-navigate newspaper sites proliferate. And many sites force readers to register, which Internet types say is counterproductive, when those readers can so easily go elsewhere for their news. In terms of the content itself, Louis Hau of Forbes.com thinks he has the answer: Look to New York City’s dueling tabloids, The Post and The Daily News. Even as most other papers had circulation declines, both tabloids picked up readers. The gains, Mr. Hau said, can be attributed to the fact that both papers “emphasize local coverage,” “offer stories you can’t get anywhere else,” “keep it short,” and present the news with “attitude” and “a point of view.”

Journalism.org: A Closer Look at Plunging Circulation(F)ully paid circulation is typically falling even faster than the overall totals reported this week. Apparently, newspaper companies trying to bolster the numbers either pushed deeply discounted introductory offers at readers or extended discounts they were already offering many subscribers rather than trying to convert them to fully paid.

Journalism.org: Not Much Good News in the New Circulation NumbersConfirming speculation that 2006 has been a difficult year, the six-month statistics from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC)—from March 30 to Sept. 30—reveal the steepest average decline in at least 15 years.

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