Newspaper closures

with 3 comments

Emily Bell’s suggestion (‘Amid the carnage, why should we be immune?‘) that 25% of UK newspapers could close during the current financial crisis fits with historical precedent (though over a longer period).

The last major period of contraction occurred between the two World Wars when, as the first Royal Commission on the Press found, just under 25% of daily and Sunday papers closed:

‘Between 31st December 1921, and 31st December 1948, the number of general daily and Sunday newspapers published in England, Wales, and Scotland fell from 169 to 128’ (1st Royal Commission on the Press, p.73).

The Commission decided this was not a serious cause for concern, nor was the 25% reduction in the national daily press. Only if it was part of a long term trend did they feel we should be worried:

‘We do not therefore see cause for alarm in the decrease of the number of national morning newspapers from 12 in 1921 to 9 in 1948 – [although any further decrease could be worrying]‘ (Royal Commission, p.88).

We still have 9 national dailies (not counting the Daily Star): The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Financial Times, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Daily Mirror and The Sun.

If these now shrank by 25-30%, say to 6, then should we be worried? And what six would they be - Times, Telegraph, Guardian, FT, Daily Mail, The Sun?

Written by Martin Moore

October 20th, 2008 at 10:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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3 Responses to 'Newspaper closures'

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  1. The Voice Newspaper group says it is making the closures because of the down-turn in the economy and unprecedented competition from UK newspaper groups.Up to 40 jobs are being lost with the closure of The Monaghan Voice and The Cavan Voice, The Tipperary Voice and the Kildare Voice newspapers.———————AdamViral Marketing


    21 Oct 08 at 2:55 am

  2. Martin,You are quite correct in piinting out that these structural shifts in the market take place periodically.What is happening now is not new.

    Nigel Barlow

    21 Oct 08 at 12:40 pm

  3. It may not be new, but what are the chances of newspapers surviving in the current market. The shifts in the market place due to the internet seem to be potentially more harmful and therefore more permanent. How are printed newspapers supposed to cope with online advertising and free online information? Articles hit their respective websites first, they are then fitted into the next available printed edition. The only logical reason I can see for buying a newspaper rather than getting the information online is for the tradition of sitting down to read through ones daily broadsheet, a tradition not readily found in those under the age of 45. Times have changed, the newspapers need to find a way to adapt to them or fade away.


    19 Feb 10 at 7:33 pm

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