Regional newspapers will be able to count free copies in their circulation figures from August this year after a rule change by the Audit Bureau of Circulation.
The ABC council agreed this week that papers such as the Manchester Evening News and Liverpool Post, who have free city centre editions, would be given a ‘total circulation’figure including both paid-for and free issues.
ABC said it was taking the step to: ‘reflect the variety of distribution channels’newspapers now have.
The bureau worked with the Newspaper Society, newspapers and advertisers to create the new circulation reporting standards.
The ABC reports from August will include graphs, charts and a glossary to explain the now more complicated figures.
The council hopes that reports will be more transparent, with separate figures for free copies.