In conjunction with News Works, the Up Country series talks with some of New Zealand's top regional newspaper editors about the performance of their titles in print and online, the role local news plays in regional communities, where they see the industry going and why advertisers should stick with them. Here's what Jonathan MacKenzie, Waikato editor-in-chief for Fairfax, had to say.
To some degree, the quarterly results of Nielsen's readership and ABC's circulation surveys have become predictable in showing the newspaper industry in decline. And while this was largely the case with the latest figures, there were also a few surprises in the mix. Updated: statistics for provincial papers removed.
While the magazine sector recorded its third consecutive overall readership increase in the latest Nielsen CMI figures, the newspapers haven't fared quite so well, with an overall decline in total readership for all dailies and metropolitan titles that has been deemed significant by Nielsen and almost universal declines in paid circulation. But there are a couple of diamonds in the rough—particularly The Herald on Sunday and The Waikato Times—and, for the optimists, the numbers are still holding up much better than they are in comparison to many other markets.