Although the regional newspaper headline print figures appear to be relatively dismal, the regional press's multi-platform print and digital operations look far more promising.
The Newspaper Society is in the first stage of a project to create a better measurement of audience reach across various print and digital platforms.
The society's database has been expanded and tests and feedback from advertising agencies are due to take place.
Working alongside ABC Electronic and local press research agency Jicreg, the Newspaper Society has said it aims to bring together reliable print and online audience figures for the regional press audiences and offer advertisers a system allowing them to better analyse the combined reach.
Director of Jicreg Les Middleton said: "With clients becoming more media ‘savvy' it is essential we have sound arguments to back up our decisions for local media usage. This is exactly the sort of initiative the regional media marketplace needs."