pacomartin
pacomartin
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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October 20th, 2010 at 6:21:01 AM permalink
Daily newspaper subscriptions are roughly 50-55 million while in Japan they are over 70 million.
Population numbers are 310 million in USA, while it is 125 million in Japan.

Japan has 5 national newspapers which combined are over half the daily subscription. The smallest
of the 5 is more than twice the Wall Street Journal or USA today.

The Wall Street Journal and USA today are the only two papers available in nearly every major urban
area of the country, but subscriptions barely approach 1% of the adult population.

Do you see this basic situtation changing at all? Maybe it is not perceived by most people as a problem.
I doubt that online papers will ever achieve the sophistication of printed media.

Press Display has the most realistic looking
online versions of print copies of newspapers.
JerryLogan
JerryLogan
Joined: Jun 28, 2010
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October 20th, 2010 at 6:39:02 AM permalink
There's two obvious reasons why newspaper readership is down in the country today. One is the Internet. The other is because of their excessive liberal bias and lack of journalistic excellence as there has always been in the past. Just as with Air America and other nutjob liberal spewing ports, similar papers are going bankrupt and out of business because of very poor reporting and slobberring over Obama, when the majority of Americans have woken up to his administration's antics.
Nareed
Nareed
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
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October 20th, 2010 at 7:13:15 AM permalink
What's the trend? I mean, both in japan and the US, has newspaper readership dropped in the past 20 years?
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
dlevinelaw
dlevinelaw
Joined: Dec 3, 2009
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October 20th, 2010 at 7:55:21 AM permalink
I think the lower rate of car ownership and higher use of public transportation accounts for a large portion of the discrepancy.
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
Joined: Aug 31, 2010
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October 20th, 2010 at 8:17:26 AM permalink
Quote: dlevinelaw

I think the lower rate of car ownership and higher use of public transportation accounts for a large portion of the discrepancy.


Absolutely. When I lived in San Francisco and took Muni to work, I read the paper every morning. When I commuted to Cupertino down the 280, I *never* read the paper. When you blow 2 hours of your day commuting, who has time?

Besides, it turns out that the daily news isn't all that important in the grand scheme of things. It's often interesting and entertaining, but at the end of the day there are very few news items that cause most people to change what they'd be doing anyway. I went on a cruise once and didn't get the paper or news reports for a week. When I got back the world was still there. Newspapers are a throwback to the days when information was scarce. That hasn't been the case for at least two decades, and the information glut is only getting worse. There's a limit to the amount of information we can digest, and many people don't read newspapers because they're too busy attending to messages like "Someone just harvested 8 acres of e-Wheat on your Farm!"
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Croupier
Croupier
Joined: Nov 15, 2009
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October 20th, 2010 at 8:23:10 AM permalink
In the UK a couple of newspapers have started to charge for their Sunday versions of the papers online. The sunday papers generally have more supplements and content than the weekday affairs. Im guessing this is to try and claw back some of the money lost due to online content availability, or push people back to the hard copy.
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pacomartin
pacomartin
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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October 20th, 2010 at 11:45:15 AM permalink
Talking to a newspaper reporter, she tells me that the real problem is advertisers. The price of the physical paper basically covers the cost of the paper and ink, and the distribution. The profit is in the advertising.

The advertisers expect to pay less for online content then for an advertisement in a physical paper. They essentially believe
that they should pay less because there is no printing costs. There is a strong belief (perhaps justified) that people
circumvent ads easier online than they do with physical paper.

While newspaper readership is suffering all over the world,
Japan's loyalty to print media is both very high, and declining a lot less rapidly than the USA.

Quote: dlevinelaw

I think the lower rate of car ownership and higher use of public transportation accounts for a large portion of the discrepancy.



Makes a lot of sense. Japan probably doesn't have the huge loyal drive time radio audiences that they have in the USA.
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
Joined: Nov 17, 2009
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October 20th, 2010 at 3:13:59 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Do you see this basic situtation changing at all? Maybe it is not perceived by most people as a problem.
I doubt that online papers will ever achieve the sophistication of printed media.



Yes. Major newsprint papers will go away completely and be replaced by downloaded electronic newspapers in the next 15 years. Newsprint is a huge waste of resources, dirty, and heavy. Check out an early version of e-paper from Sony here.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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October 20th, 2010 at 4:37:22 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Do you see this basic situtation changing at all? Maybe it is not perceived by most people as a problem.
I doubt that online papers will ever achieve the sophistication of printed media.



The decline of newspapers is for several reasons. The first JerryLogan has right on the money. All the fawning over Obama despite his total lack of experience and still cheerleading for him and the left despite their bungling of everything they have done. And this went back for years. Ever hear the old joke that the hedline if the world were to end tomorrow the headline would be "World to be Destroyed, Women and Minorities to be Hardest Hit." Why keep reading and getting this sort of garbage?

Second, newspapers don't do what they used to do--report news. Back in Rochester I remember reading about how many "beat" reporter jobs were empty. Sure it costs money to cover obscure beats, but those readers who need that info will buy the paper. On the same subject is good, individual coverage. Sure it cost money to fly a reporter somewhere. But when that reporter gets the "local angle" that is something you get nowhere else. Why should I buy a newspaper to read little but AP feeds?

Next, find an old paper form the 1980s or earlier and look how different the features and comics are. If people don't get their favorite columns, comics, and other items it is one less reason to buy. It has been little by little, but look at it. Here in the paper when I was a kid there were 2-3 more "magazines" in the sunday paper (eg: Parade, Roto, etc) and 2 big comics sections. Plus several local writers in sports.

Finally, papers kileld themselves raping people on classified ads. Yes, people will buy papers for the ads if they are looking for a job, house, or car. In 1998 a paper wanted $1,000+ for about a 1 inch want-ad! So I advertised there as little as possible. Others did to the point a whole help-wanted section became a page or two. So why buy?

In 10-20 years most markets will no longer have a major daily. The newspapers brought 90% of it on themselves. 9% of the remaining 10% was threats they ignored.
Tolerance is the virtue of believing in nothing
cclub79
cclub79
Joined: Dec 16, 2009
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October 20th, 2010 at 4:47:48 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Daily newspaper subscriptions are roughly 50-55 million while in Japan they are over 70 million.
Population numbers are 310 million in USA, while it is 125 million in Japan.

Japan has 5 national newspapers which combined are over half the daily subscription. The smallest
of the 5 is more than twice the Wall Street Journal or USA today.

The Wall Street Journal and USA today are the only two papers available in nearly every major urban
area of the country, but subscriptions barely approach 1% of the adult population.

Do you see this basic situtation changing at all? Maybe it is not perceived by most people as a problem.
I doubt that online papers will ever achieve the sophistication of printed media.

Press Display has the most realistic looking
online versions of print copies of newspapers.



The nature of the countries being compared is also relevant. USA Today has been difficult to print across the vast country since its birth. I had heard Gannett was buying a lot of smaller papers in the beginning, so they could use the presses to print USA Today. In my area, the local paper used to be an afternoon daily, and USA Today used its presses in the evening and overnight to create their editions. Because Sunday editions of all the local papers took a lot longer to print, that was one of the reasons USA Today didn't print on the weekends at all. I assume WSJ has to be printed all over the country, and it's probably a minor reason that they continued to not print 7 days. (Obviously their coverage of the markets is mainly silent Saturday and Sunday as well.)

Japan is a more compact geographically and population-wise, making a national newspaper or five easier to create, print, and distribute.

I think some local papers will continue to survive, because they cover things that you don't get on the regional TV news. Parents probably still like to see their high school kids football game in the paper. My sister still subscribes if only for the coupons that come in the Saturday (formerly Sunday) edition.

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