Report shows newspaper industry in global recovery

The World Association of Newspapers has found reasons to be cheerful about an international recovery in the fortunes of the press, writes Jon Slattery.

Its latest Flash report claims there is growing evidence that the newspaper industry is on the rebound world-wide.

WAN says: “Circulation is up in Australia. Advertising is back in Japan.

Germany’s big press groups report increasing profits. And newspapers’ long struggle on the internet is finally paying off in the US.”

The Flash report, which takes a monthly look at press trends, says all major Fairfax newspapers in Australia have experienced lifts in circulation.

In Canada, paid circulation for the National Post has increased by 3.3 per cent for the key Monday-Friday period.

In France, Libération recorded its first operational profit in 2003 after three years. In Germany, Bertelsmann, the world’s fifth-biggest media group, said it was back in the black in the first three months of the current year. The Flash report also notes that in the UK the Financial Times is finally showing signs of stability and that Johnston Press has reported advertising revenues are up for the first half of the year by 5.8 per cent.

Local advertisers in the US spent $2.1 billion on online advertising in 2003, 27 per cent more than in 2002, and the main beneficiaries were newspapers and local TV stations.

The report adds: “The long-awaited advertising recovery is now under way, and will be strengthened by the the Olympic Games, European Championship football and elections in Canada and the US, according to ZenithOptimedia.”

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