Take heart in global growth of newspapers

First, the good news.

Newspaper circulations all over the world are up.

Break out the bubbly.

But before you drink it, here’s the bad news. Not in this country, they’re not.

World Association of Newspapers’ latest annual figures certainly make
for mixed reading if you’re a UK executive. Although it might seem easy
to dismiss the 2 per cent global growth as being largely the result of
a sales boom in developing nations, the fact is that in some of the
more “mature” markets – including Italy, Spain, Portugal and even
Japan, which showed a rise for the first time in many years – the graph
is on the upswing again.

Here, UK newspapers dropped more than 4 per cent last year and are down by 11 per cent in the past five years.

But if they can do it, surely so can we.

Still, before we get too downhearted, the WAN survey also includes some insights into publishing around the globe. Such as:

● There is no printing press in Equatorial Guinea, so all newspapers are photocopied.

● In Jordan, where dailies are obliged by law to have a minimum
capital of $US 700,000 , there is also a legal obligation for
editors-in-chief to have 10 consecutive years as a journalist before
they can be appointed.

● In Mozambique, the chief distribution means for dailies is by fax. Most consist of four pages, including ads.

The Uzbek Government has invented newspapers without news. Private
newspapers are allowed to publish advertising, horoscopes and other
features – but no news So chins up. It could be a lot worse.

And here’s a final insight.

Norway, the most frequently used content device is the mobile phone,
which is used for news consumption for five hours a day, on average,
with a typical session lasting between three and five minutes.

Sounds like more bad news? Not necessarily.

to the weblog from the WAN conference, publishers have successfully
used interactive mobile phone news services to grow single-copy sales.

It ain’t over for the good old newspaper yet.

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