Pew report shows daily newspaper decline continuing, but E&P says community papers thriving

In 2015, newspapers continued to see declines in circulation, revenue and number of employees, according to the Pew Research “State of the News Media 2016” report.

“Average weekday newspaper circulation, print and digital combined, fell another 7% in 2015, the greatest decline since 2010,” it says, while Sunday circulation also fell 4 percent.  Total advertising revenue for publicly traded companies fell 8 percent for both print and digital. The latest newspaper newsroom employment number, which are from 2014, reveal a 10 percent reduction, the most since 2009. Newspaper employment has dropped nearly 40 percent  in the past 20 years

As for newspapers’ once vaunted value and penetration, a January 2016 Pew Research Center survey found only 5 percent of people described a newspaper as the most helpful source for information about the presidential election, trailing every other source.

That is all daily newspapers. The report is silent on community newspapers.

An article published June 1 by Editor & Publisher says community papers are thriving and have managed to avoid layoffs.

“You don’t hear about community papers going out of business. It’s not the doom and gloom that major market papers face. At a recent press association meeting, I met several people who say they started a (small) paper two or three years ago. I started one in 2008. Weekly and small dailies are faring better than our major counterparts,” the article quotes Chip Hutcheson, president of the National Newspaper Association as saying.

A 2013 study conducted by The Reynolds Journalism Institute for NNA found 67 percent of residents in small U.S. communities read local newspapers. Don Reynolds was once the owner of the Las Vegas daily newspaper.

The NNA conducted an informal survey of its members in March and was told almost 11 percent of papers had an increase in circulation.


10 comments on “Pew report shows daily newspaper decline continuing, but E&P says community papers thriving

  1. JOHN EDWARDS says:

    As you know, small newspapers carry news readers cannot get anywhere else. When I was working for a dinky newspaper in Beeville, Texas, I remember someone told me that everyone already knew the local news. The readers just wanted to learn how much of the news the Beeville Bee-Picayune had discovered.

  2. Steve says:

    This could be a result of the “last mile” challenge in bringing broadband internet to rural and small town USA.
    I think it’s only a matter of time before the effects are felt by the little papers, but while there is money to be made, why not go for it? BBM!

  3. Connie Foust says:

    Not surprising after running a race where the local media was openly bias. We are about to cancel our subscription to the RJ because Sheldon Adelson donated 25K the last ten days to my opponent and ran numerous stories making him appear to be a victim — I am more than disgusted by this. All Sheldon wants is a vote for taxpayers to pick up part of the cost of the new Hockey Stadium and he’s buying votes. I would have told him no, watch and see how this all shakes out.

  4. Steve says:

    Connie, the “hockey Stadium” is owned by the MGM, is named T-Mobile Arena and was built with zero tax dollars, is being operated with zero tax dollars and the NHL is being paid with zero tax dollars.

    In other words, T-Mobile Arena the “hockey stadium” as you call it, is fully, privately, funded.
    not on cent of public money has been spent on T-Mobile Arena.

    Now, the “Hockey Stadium” you refer to is actually a proposed FOOTBALL stadium and the Raiders football team is interested in it. Sheldon Adeleson is ponying up the smallest amount of money for it, Steve Wynn is for it but not putting any money behind his words and the Raiders are ponying up almost half the cost.
    The rest is being begged for from the public trough. I am dead set against any public money going for ANY arena, field, stadium or other venue that will NOT OFFER ME any chance to buy shares and invest in it while trying to steal money from (us/me) taxpayers to enrich the so called “investors” who actually put the smallest amount of capitol up out of pocket in the first place.

    Bottom line:
    Private money for venues. OK!
    Public money included in support of venues. NO FREAKING WAY!

  5. JOHN EDWARDS says:

    Belated response on Beeville, Mitch. I had fun writing stories about the county commission violating the open meetings law, on would-be secret property-tax increase proposals, and on issues with petty officials, but someone was always personally angry with me about just reporting the news. I prefer the relative big-city anonymity of not seeing people I exposed in the coffee shop the next day. Also, there was the unpleasant political dynamic of Anglos hating Mexican-Americans and vice versa. The establishment included white ranchers who hated property taxes and a growing majority of Mexican-Americans who wanted to spend local money on welfare programs.

  6. That’s what it’s like in small towns. When my father ran for school board in a small town, the said that is when he found out who his real friends were.

  7. Connie Foust says:

    You are right about the football stadium. His other big donor was the Venetian. Now tell me how much he cares about the people in the Virgin or Moapa Valley as they pony up tax dollars to Vegas one more time.

  8. Steve says:

    Still the smallest “donation”.
    Tax money is not “donated” it is taken, by force if necessary.
    Adeleson does not care one whit about tax payers. He wants to slow or halt convention Center expansion. I believe he doesn’t even care about a stadium in any way other than what it could do to slow or halt the Convention Center.

  9. That is a distinct possibility.

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