Newspaper readership figures increase in May


Well it’s good news for one title anyway, which is surprising. Sadly though we’re talking about an anomaly rather than any significant reversal of fortunes.
So The Guardian, according to the latest NRS figures for April 2010 – May 2011, has attracted an additional 30,000 eyes to the pages it prints on paper, coming in as the only newspaper (daily or Sunday) not to report further losses. But the UK’s third most perused quality title looks set to stay in the same position for some time, as number two in that division, The Times, weighs in with over half a million more, while ranking in fourth is The Independent, with over 500,000 less people taking an interest.
That said broadsheets are again the worst hit by the wholesale industry decline, with three of five titles losing over 10% of readers in the year, meaning whichever view you prefer there’s no denying a few similar annual results will change the standings significantly. In fact, only one title did worse than the high-end dailies, and that was a high-end weekend publication (namely The Sunday Telegraph‘s 15 per cent plummet), which gives you some idea of what content the public will pay for in an era defined by austerity and tablet apps.
The UK’s favourite newspaper, The Sun, remains relatively unchanged, with the numbers of its firm faithful dropping from 7,751,000 down to 7,722,000. It appears Page Three really will never grow old, given this is the lowest decline in the marketplace and represents a smaller shortfall than the title experienced over the previous twelve months. In contrast that age-old rival The Star couldn’t retain its readership figures as it did between 2009 and 2010, reporting a 4% fall. On the whole then it’s far from good news, and yet all the numbers and glaring evidence in the world will never stop us from believing there will always be a place for the oldest form of journalism. It’s just about time someone did something to help secure that future; answers on a postcard please.