: The Wall Street Journal (free link) says newspaper circulation is taking a dive:
If they depend just on the old, big, one-size-fits-all product then, yes, that’s bad news. And if, in the case of one of at least one of the companies listed in the story, a big drop comes from cleaning up circ fraud, well, that’s very bad news.
Circulation numbers to be released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations probably will show industrywide declines of 1% to 3%, according to people familiar with the situation — possibly the highest for daily newspapers since the industry shed 2.6% of subscribers in 1990-91.
But if print media spread out across new media — online, mobile, multimedia — and new, niche products — ethnic, entertainment, handout — then that’s good news: the mass market becomes the mass of niches; the audience is served where and when it wants to be served. And if that happens, circulation in the big, one-size-fits-all print products will decline and it will not be bad news. Lot of if’s there.
: The Journal also has an online poll asking: “What is the main reason for declines in newspaper circulation?: Diminished quality; Online alternatives; Hassle of recycling; Biased reporting; Something else.” Online is the clear winner at this hour.