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Friday, 18 June 2010 11:45

OECD report examines future of news and the Internet

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The OECD has produced a new report claimed to provide "an in depth-treatment of the global newspaper market and its evolution."

The report, downloadable at no charge, is focussed particularly on its economics, the development of online news, related opportunities and challenges and policy approaches.

Its main message is that 'large country-by-country and title-by-title differences and the data currently do not lend themselves to make the case for 'the death of the newspaper', in particular if non-OECD countries and potential positive effects of the economic recovery are taken into account.'

According to the report, about 20 out of 30 OECD countries face declining newspaper readership, with significant decreases in some OECD countries and with the general, regional and local press having been hardest hit.

2009 was expected to be the worst year for OECD newspapers, with the largest declines in the United States, the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, Canada, and Spain (but much a much smaller impact on countries such as Austria, Australia.

The report estimates that the US market declined 30 percent from 2007 to 2009, while the two least impacted countries, Austria and Australia suffered declines of only two and three percent respectively.

However, in emerging economies the average daily paid newspaper circulation has been growing for a number of years: by about 35 percent in the BIICS countries from 2000 to 2008. India had a 45 percent increase in circulation between 2000 and 2008, South Africa 34 percent and China an estimated 29 percent).

Other countries and continents, including Africa and South America. are also gaining readers, the OECD says. "This rise has compensated for the drop in OECD paid circulation and led to an actual increase in the number of world newspapers - by 14 percent from 2002-2008."

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