Looking into the crystal ball.

With all this talk of scholarships and job opportunities, it has got me thinking about what sort of job I want to have after completing this course. I've reached the same conclusion that I always do, the first thing I would like to try would be to work for a national daily newspaper. However, as has been brought up before, circulation figures are falling year on year, leading me to wonder if when we finally get out there, will there actually be any jobs left to have?

The circulation figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations for The Sun, The Mail, The Times, The Guardian and The Independent in November 2008 were respectively:

3,045,899

2,193,715

621,831

358,379

201,113.

Each paper marked a drop from the same time in 2007 of around 1%, apart from The Mail which took a drop of almost 6% and the Independent one of almost 14%. Now this makes me especially sad because these two are my favourite papers.

Another thing that interests me, is the difference between the figures for The Sun compared to papers like The Guardian or The Times. Although I am not shocked to see that The Sun has the highest circulation, I am surprised by how low the numbers of the afore mentioned broadsheets are in comparison. Does the nation have no desire whatsoever to hear about more than Jordan's latest boob job? Sad really isn't it?

It may not be all boarded up windows just yet though as newspapers have been in decline since the 1960s. My hope is that if those of us who love our morning paper continue to buy them (or have them bought for us in some cases!) then they may continue to survive into the future. If we perhaps put a little more effort into saving the newspaper industry than we did into saving Woolies, maybe everything will be alright.

Comments

contains more than just Jordan's boobs. If people just wanted to look at women's chest then they could easily do so online.

I do not believe that The Sun is the Devil's spawn as some people like to say, or simply bad journalism. I would give their journalists credit for writing in such a succinct manner - we all know how hard it is to write a story in so few words. 

 

By Rebecca Hughes

Becci I agree that The Sun is very good and despite it being the typical red-top, it is very entertaining. We all know it likes to run campaigns, challenge authority but also provide humourous stories about celebrities and idiocies committed by people. For those reasons, it gains a great readership and I like to treat it as a light-hearted comic, rather than a serious newspaper.

Kat, the problem is if people wanted desperately to buy a better paper and be more news-aware then they would. But the price of The Sun 30p is a lot better than The Times/Independent etc which costs around 80p and perhaps we should take a good look at our nation which prefers light-hearted drivel than hard-hitting news spreads. As we know, people are reluctant to pay for such luxuries and it is our fault we are drawn in by cheap tabloids...which can produce good, succinct (as Becci said) news in an informative manner.

Admittedly The Sun is not the God of all papers, far from it.

But perhaps examples can be learnt from The Sun, as after it all it wouldn't be Britain's best-selling paper if it wasn't of good calibre.

P.S. Kat, I'm not having a go at you! :)

 

By stuartwilson

(I also don't intend for any of this to come across as rude, but...)

 

Stuart, you make it sound like The Sun does not cover the main issues! And the Guardian has become smaller as well. Admittedly the size of The Telegraph annoys me. I still haven't conquered the ability to read it without getting into a mess.

Anyway back to The Sun...

Let's look at it this way - when we don't understand a story at 8/9 in the morning what paper do we go for? The Sun. (At least I do) I know that when I read it I have a better chance of making sense of the story. This is the reason why I buy it, I don't buy it for the celebrity gossip. I skip over those pages.

By Rebecca Hughes

Don't worry Becci, you're not.

To be honest you're right. What I meant is that it does cover the main issues, just in a more concise, big-headline attractive way, rather than being bogged down with endlessly monotonous description and commentary you might see in a paper like The Independent or The Telegraph.

I agree The Telegraph is a nightmare!

True, The Guardian has downsized, but the number of booklets and stuff within it annoys me and like The Telegraph, I wish they just included the sport section at the back of the paper rather than having to tediously scrap through a mountain of pull-outs within the paper to find the sport section! 

The Sun as you say puts the news in to plain and simple English rather than sometimes quite difficult to understand jargon and literative description you might find in The Guardian, Telegraph, Independent.

I agree with Becci that I would much rather read The Sun, The Mail, The Mirror in the morning to comprehend major news stories and then deal with any minor celebrity issues later. To be honest, I don't and wouldn't buy it for celeb gossip, that would be a waste of money. But if it's there and free, I'll read it - as it is like a comic or silly magazine.

Now I might sound like a thick, uncultured moron for liking The Sun, but my snobbery has since deceased in the past few years regarding tabloid papers.

 

By stuartwilson

why are you still calling it a "comic or silly magazine"?!

I find the sport section easy to find - it's normally the first one inside the main bit... I think? But the media section on a monday is a bitch to find! 

By Rebecca Hughes

my point is, it balances the more serious news with light-hearted news. As I say, it is concise to the point when writing about parliament and world affairs, but deals with people being stuck up trees and celebrity boob jobs simultaneously, giving it that more light-hearted, comic edge.

Haha well the sport section isn't easy to find when it's spread all over the newsroom table with millions of other papers, as it spills out from The Guardian. To be honest, if I'm that bothered I should just buy my own copy of The Guardian rather than moaning, though I'd buy The Times for sport instead.

Anyhow, I will stop moaning! haha.

By stuartwilson

I fear it may be me that spreads the papers out everywhere. I normally toss the sports section aside in the morning - I'm going to take a more avid interest in sport from now on... Especially seeing as you guys always go on about it. I figured if you can't beat them - join them!

By Rebecca Hughes

Fear not Becci, I do not mind the paper mess! You are a woman after all (I don't mean that to sound sexist, just I can't expect you to be bothered about silly ball games and cars zooming around a race track, even though I know you like cars) and I don't blame you.

Haha I appreciate it Becci, but don't worry. I think though I'll have to take a more avid interest in photography (as there are some great pictures, including that site Mylo talked about the other day on his blog) therefore, as I did used to do art after all! So we'll swap roles! :). 

By stuartwilson

I do like to break stereotypes! However, I still think people look at me like I'm a stupid blonde. But then best not get the red hair dye out again... 

Oh, I like that site - I think I might upload some fisheye photos to jazz it up a bit. Take some pictures and post them - I'd love to see them! I'm always horrified when my brother shows me his "night photography". He frequently forgets to put the flash on.

I got a lovely camera necklace today, Stuart - I think you should wear it for a day to show your love for photography. It's all sparkly!

By Rebecca Hughes

Well believe me I don't think you're a stupid blonde, though perhaps that's because I'm a stupid brunette haha.

Go for it, I'd like to see some professional stuff! Haha your brother sounds a bit of a photo numpty to say the least!

I used to take pictures of the countryside when out with the girlfriend and also football matches at Chelsea, but I don't do it much anymore. I might take some pictures of the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District when I go uuup North tomorrow.

Thanks Becci, but no thanks - I'm neither Boy George, Pete Burns or Julian Clary haha. If I'm drunk however, then that might be a different story haha.

By stuartwilson

I would prefer you to take an avid interest in today and yesteryear's "New Wave" "Synthpop" and "Electropop" but 1) I don't think that would happen haha and 2) I don't expect you to either.

I can't expect you to be as gay as me haha :).

 

By stuartwilson

...That such newspapers like The Mail and The Independent are declining in circulation and readership like you say.

But as we all know, a lot of us are bone idol individuals who simply do not want to have to 1) buy a paper when it can be there on the internet to read the main news stories, 2) we want to read a lot of tabloid-like stories rather than main issues, which admittedly I sadly sometimes fall in to the category of and 3) broadsheets like you said have declined are irritating to read (i.e. The Guardian, The Telegraph), when other traditional broadsheets like The Times and The Independent have become easier to read as they're not as large and bulky.

You raise some good points and I hope the newspaper industry recovers and thrives. But like Woolies, will we just moan after it declines and not take action at this moment, when it is actually necessary? For example, a lot of people I talked to about Woolies said they were sad it was going, but didn't want to buy anything in the store.

Sentimentalism is great, but the sad fact is that like Woolies, papers are becoming ever more redundant.

Also, perhaps the fact that papers like The Mail and The Independent are not worth the money in some people's opinion, whilst The Sun is. To be honest, I'm not sure, but it makes me wonder.

By stuartwilson

Just because I like the Independent, I don't think that makes me a snob Stuart, and I don't think enough credit is being given to the broadsheet papers in the way they communicate the main issues. The Sun is not the only understandable paper, it has its merits I will give it that but I think it says a lot about the state of the nation when we can't be bothered to understand the world properly and therefore look for a simplified version. It's too jazzy for me I'm afraid, but if that is what the population wants then let them have it. However, I will as Becci said commend them for their ability to write succinctly.

By KathrynCain

I wasn't giving any credit to broadsheets because I was only discussing The Sun.  

I don't, however, agree with your sweeping generalisation about the state of the nation. Many people don't have the time to look at a broadsheet. The Sun can be read quite quickly to briefly update you on the world. I wouldn't simplify it to a case of not being bothered. We can't all be experts on every field, sometimes we need certain subjects simplified for us. 

But then regardless of whether we like reading it or not - you can't really not read one of the biggest selling papers as a journalist can you? 

By Rebecca Hughes

after all the blog was about the decline in circulation and concern for the industry as a whole. I think you've taken it a bit personally, my response was to all the comments left. That is exactly my view on The Sun though, it doesn't provide an accurate view of the world because it doesn't provide enough world news and I know you will slate me for saying so but even the serious topics get treated in a "DOH!" style and that is why I don't like it other than for entertainment. What I am saying is that I think some of the broadsheets are good at telling a story without making it seem like you have to be an expert.

By KathrynCain


that it was intended to be about circulation figures, but you turned it into a dig at The Sun for a couple of sentences! When you reduced The Sun readership down to liking Jordan's boobs, I had to disagree. I wasn't offended by what you said. Similarly I'm not going to slate you for opinion, it is just a case of disagreeing. And I'll end this conversation here!    
 
 (argh - I copied this from one comment box to another and now it's got an ugly white background. I'm not re-writing it.)

By Rebecca Hughes

You are not a snob Kat :) and I never said you where. And also believe me, The Sun is not my favourite paper of choice. I prefer The Times.

By stuartwilson

It's interesting that you say "sad isn't it" about the low circulation figures for the broadsheets. The old divide between giving people what they want and telling them what they SHOULD want to know will never die.

In "The Cult of the Amateur", Andrew Keen argues that "today's user-generated media are killing our culture and economy". He claims that our cultural and intellectual institutions are being eroded by the mass of blogging amateurs, who merely reinforce their own individual prejudices and delusions by nattering incessantly to themselves and those who already agree with them. How can an informed electorate engage in public debate when it doesn't have a common base of knowledge from which to begin? (The ongoing crisis in Gaza is a case in point, how many main-stream mentions of the occupation and the settlements have their been?)

Keen discusses the decline in newspaper sales, and, as Tim pointed out last term, no-one has yet made their online versions profitable, despite the many millions of pounds invested in them.

However, I feel certain that these new platforms will be able to pay one day. The innovation and changes required will undoubtedly be drastic, but isn't that what we've seen more of in the last decade or so than ever before? There's a lot going on out there (DemocracyNow!, all the West Coast initiatives like HuffPo mentioned in the Reeves Recommend "Reinventing Journalism", IndyMedia...), surely it's only a matter of time before a decent model is discovered?

What alternative do we have?

By johnsaunders