Newspapers: Per Capita and Circulation and Online Reading
This year's edition of the survey also explored the reported general decline in newspaper readership and the question: Is one of its causes the reported rise in online reading of newspapers. The AMLC surveys from 2003-2006 indicate that there is indeed a widespread decline in per capita newspaper circulation: it is happening in cities where overall literacy is high (Seattle, for example) and in cities where it is low. But the data does not indicate a switch from reading newspapers to reading online news.
Cities in which newspaper circulation has declined precipitously (over 10%) for 3 straight years (in pink below) generally rank modestly in “the middle of the pack” and lower for online newspaper reading. For example, Seattle, with a 12% decline in per capita newspaper circulation, ranks only #17 in online news reading.
By way of contrast, for the cities in which circulation either remained stable or increased during this period (in green below), the ranking for online news reading is comparatively higher. Indianapolis, for example, which has had stable per capita circulation for the period, ranks #3 for online news reading, and Cincinnati, which has experienced a steady rise in per capita newspaper circulation, ranks #7 for online news reading
Thus, there is no apparent connection between the rise of Internet news and the decline of print circulation.
|CITY||2003||2004||2005||2006||Online Rdg '06|
|Las Vegas, NV||43.30336||40.20188||37.26281||34.44539||27.5|
|St. Paul, MN||66.83313||68.79066||68.73626||69.46611||20.5|
Newspaper circulation was indexed as two variables. All figures divided by total city population
1. Weekday total circulation
2. Sunday total circulation
These numbers were then divided by the city population in order to calculate ratios of library services and resources available to the population.
|6||St. Louis, MO||6|
|8.5||Santa Ana, CA||57|
|12||St. Paul, MN||3|
|19||Kansas City, MO||15|
|23||San Francisco, CA||7|
|27||Oklahoma City, OK||38.5|
|29||Virginia Beach, VA||24|
|35.5||Fort Worth, TX||45|
|43||Las Vegas, NV||43|
|44||New York, NY||28|
|49.5||Colorado Springs, CO||30|
|52||San Diego, CA||36|
|53||San Jose, CA||54|
|60.5||Corpus Christie, TX||65|
|62||San Antonio, TX||63|
|63||Long Beach, CA||60|
|64.5||El Paso, TX||68|