The number of daily newspaper titles published worldwide has risen above 10,000 for the first time ever , according to the World Association of Newspapers.
The WAN World Press Trends survey shows that global newspaper circulation has risen almost 10 per cent over five years, 2.36 per cent of which was last year, while European growth was 2.12 per cent over five years: some 4.18 per cent of which was in the past year.
CEO Timothy Balding said: "What we are seeing completely contradicts the conventional wisdom that newspapers are in terminal decline. "Newspapers are doing far better than commonly believed. In fact, the figures confirm that the industry is healthy and vigorous and is successfully dealing with increasing competition from other media. The fashion of predicting the death of newspapers should be exposed for what it is – nothing more than a fashion, based on common assumptions that are belied by the facts."
Thelondonpaper and London Lite, both freesheets established last year, added to the number of free dailies circulated, which has more than doubled in the last five years from 12 million copies in 2001 to 29 million in 2005.
Europe has shown the strongest combined paid-for and free newspaper circulation increase, with a rise of almost 15 per cent over five years and 3.31 per cent in 2005. Balding said: "The figures show that there has been a quiet revolution in the number of daily launches. This burgeoning growth of daily titles worldwide has largely gone unnoticed by market makers and media pundits obsessed with the digital media revolution. Meanwhile the real-world growth of newspaper titles and circulation continues inexorably."
According to Balding, the newspaper industry is worth $180 billion globally and employs more than two million people.