Newspaper circulation not declining: WAN

Canadian titles are among the scores of publications examined in a new report from the World Association of Newspapers. Its Twainesque conclusion: Reports of the death of traditional newspapers are greatly exaggerated.

Refuting widespread speculation that conventional newspapers are doomed to extinction, the Paris-based World Association of Newspapers released a report yesterday arguing that global newspaper circulation has risen 9.95% over the past five years, and 2.36% over the past year.

In Canada, combined average daily circulation of paid and free newspapers increased from 5,566,000 in 2001 to 6,352,000 in 2005. Overall circulation in North America showed a five-year increase of 0.7% percent. While the number of titles declined 0.84% over the past five years, there was a 1.21% spike in new titles over the last 12 months.

WAN estimates that newspapers represent a nearly US $180 billion-dollar industry worldwide, and generate more advertising revenue than radio, outdoor, cinema, magazines and the Internet combined. For the first time in history, the number of daily newspaper titles worldwide has surpassed 10,000, with over 450 million copies sold daily to more than 1.4 billion readers. As well, total circulation of free daily papers more than doubled over the past five years.

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