Traveling periodically to Europe and Latin America in the 2000s to speak at news business events, I got a consistent impression: international newspapers were better off than ours, but executives could see U.S.-style decline on the horizon within a few years.
Statistics released yesterday by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) suggest that digital disruption is now in full bloom in Europe and Australia. Latin American newspapers are still showing moderate circulation and advertising growth. The picture is mixed in Asia and Africa.
The summary picture now matches the United States fairly exactly: some growth in combined digital and print audience, digital ad revenues not keeping pace and both print circulation and print advertising declining sharply.
And Larry Kilman, secretary general of the association, sees a familiar implication. “Unless we crack the revenue issue,” he wrote in a release summarizing the findings, “and provide sufficient funds so that newspapers can fulfill their societal role, democracy will inevitably be weakened.”Read more