Get Smart About Your Readers [Readership Institute]

Quotes from Readership Institute: Get Smart About Your Readers (via

The 2008 results surprised me, as they did last time in 2006. Why aren’t they much worse, when the imminent demise of newspapers seems to be all we ever hear about?

The short answer is that reading customers aren’t deserting newspapers at anything approaching the rate that advertising customers are. That is no consolation for newspaper company employees who are losing their jobs, and it’s a challenge, to say the least, for a smaller staff to produce, sell and deliver a high-quality local news report for the people who want it.

As well as (pleasantly) surprising me, some of the results disappointed me, especially in respect to Web sites. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect frequent and intense use of a newspaper’s main site by a large proportion of the population. There are too many other goodies on the Web. There are many other sites that “own” categories like national and international news, sports and business, lifestyle or entertainment. A significant proportion of locals don’t care much about local news, at least not enough to seek out regular doses of it.