Newspaper Circulation Falling Faster and Faster

Gone are the days of the smoking-jacketed man with his armchair, pipe and evening paper.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations reported a 2.8 percent decline for weekday circulation and 3.4 percent decline in Sunday circulation for the six months ending in September. This marks an increasingly fast decline in newspaper readership.

And growing online media is only making things harder for an industry that has been struggling with changing readership patterns for decades. According to an Associated Press article on the topic, U.S. newspaper circulation has been dropping steadily since 1987, well before the Internet was widely adopted by the public.

The nation’s three largest papers (USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times) all saw declines, and circulation at The Los Angeles Times — the nation’s fourth largest paper — dropped a startling 8 percent. The New York Post was one of few papers large papers to see a gain in readership.

Granted, newspapers aren’t the household staple they once were, but will they ever really become obsolete? Crossword puzzles aside, can they still offer anything that television and the Internet can’t? Do you still read them?

For more about how online media should complement its print counterpart, check out David Lidsky’s blog, where he asks “What Do You Want From A Magazine Website”?