If you believe the hype, print is an anachronistic curmudgeon unsuccessfully fighting against an online onslaught of Twits, Tweets and Twats.
But if you believe the latest readership numbers, print – in New Zealand, at least – appears to be in fine(ish) fettle.
The latest newspaper readership results from the Nielsen Media Research survey show significant gains for the year to 30 September in the major metropolitan markets.
- The New Zealand Herald average issue readership is up 3,000 to 394,000 in Auckland City (overall 568,000) on the same period last year.
- The Waikato Times has jumped 8,000 to 104,000. The Times also increased its penetration in its key market by 2 percentage points – up to 44.1 per cent.
- In Wellington The Dominion Post was up 5,000 to 145,000 in the city. Overall readership is 247,000. It also increased penetration by 1 percentage point to 47.7 per cent.
- The Press has lifted by 7,000 to 223,000 nationally, while its penetration in Christchurch rose by just under 1 percent, to 50 per cent.
- Nearly half of all Wellingtonians and Cantabrians aged 15 plus read their city’s newspapers on an average day.
"These results are good news for newspapers and their advertisers," Newspaper Publishers’ Association chief executive Tim Pankhurst says. "This is despite a severe economic downturn and the challenge of the internet. Newspapers remain in good heart, and continue to adapt.
"When you add online audiences, total readership has never been higher."
He says the Sunday market was also prospering with readership of Sunday newspapers increasing by 7,000 to 946,000 overall.
The Sunday Star Times was up 6,000 to 570,000 and the Herald on Sunday was up 13,000 to 380,000.
"The overall change in daily newspaper readership over the last 12 months is less than 1 per cent", Pankhurst says.
"About 2.5 million New Zealanders will read at least one edition of a daily or Sunday newspaper every week".
Click here for previous Nielsen readership results.
Source: Nielsen Media Research, National Readership Survey October 2008 – September 2009: All People 15+