Youth turn back on printed news

Friday, December 21, 2007

Newspaper reach in the UK dropped nearly a quarter (24%) between 1992 and 2006, according to figures from the National Readership Survey (NRS).

Figures from the body show readership sliding from 26.7m to 21.7m across the period and, when population growth is taken into account, the decline in reach is even more exaggerated.

The younger demographics showed the least interest in printed news, with declines in the 15 to 24 year old and 25 to 34 year old brackets at 37% and 40% respectively.

It is likely that these groups feed their appetite for news from online sources instead, and the industry will face an issue as these generations mature.

However, the House of Lords, which asked for the figures for an upcoming enquiry into the regulation of media ownership, maintained that with 45% of the population reading a printed newspaper daily, ownership remains important.

Communications Committee chairman Lord Fowler said: "These figures show an overall decline in the number of people reading a national newspaper. However, they also show that more than 21m people in Britain still read at least one of the top 10 national daily newspapers on an average day."

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