The latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation show that the steep decline in newspaper readership continues.
Here in Arizona, the fastest-growing state in the nation, the report says that
“Daily circ at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix declined 3.7% to 382,414 while Sunday decreased 4.6% to 480,585.”
My wife and I are journalism grads and were editors of our college newspaper. One of our daughters is pursuing a journalism degree. We are newspaper people. But I am amazed at the number of business and opinion leaders in our state who tell me they don’t read the newspaper, and the statistics bear that out.
I’ve always thought a “fair and balanced” newspaper that didn’t approach every issue with a left-wing agenda would have a real shot at financial success. But given the flight to on-line news sources, I’m not sure there is any newspaper business model that can survive long-term.
As John Maynard Keynes put it, “In the long run we’re all dead.” But in the meantime, despite their flaws and despite precipitous drops in circulation, newspapers – including the Arizona Republic in this community — still largely set the public agenda and serve to record and validate the newsworthiness of events, activities and trends.