Today the latest monthly newspaper circulation figures came out.
And again for newspaper proprietors in Scotland these figures make for depressing reading. The figures tell them that their readership has continued with its monthly trend….Downwards
Here are the figures for the main Scottish Daily and Sunday newspapers, bar those for the Herald, and Sunday Herald, which have been categorised by their proprietor as Regional newspapers,and thus only get their circulation figures published twice a year.
The Scottish Sun: 5.5 cent drop = 314,595 to 297,123
The Daily Record: 10.2 per drop = from 275,175 on average in July 2011, to 247,041 last month;
Scottish Daily Express: 12.1 per cent drop = 65,689 to 57,681
Scottish Daily Mail – 5.2 per cent drop = 109,643 to 103,927
Daily Telegraph – 10.9 per cent drop = 22,172 to 19,747
The Guardian – 18.8 per cent drop = 14,069 to 11,418;
i – 37.3 per cent up = 12,411 to 17,039;
The Scotsman – 12.3 per cent drop = 38,423 to 33,673;
The Times – 5.8 per cent drop = 19,994 to 18,829.
The last half yearly report for the Herald in June had seen its circulation fall 8.2% going from 48,278 to 44,283.So we can probably assume that they have fallen further in line with the trend.
The worst percentage fall belongs to the Guardian at 18.8%
The best of the worst, belongs to the Scottish Sun and Daily Mail at falls of 5.5% and 5.2% respectively.
The only daily to buck the trend is The i, with a percentage rise of 37.3% bringing its circulation up to 17,039, outstripping the Guardian and catching up fast on the Times and Telegraph
Meanwhile, the Sunday titles’ sales figures in Scotland were as follows:
Daily Star of Scotland – Sunday – 31 per cent down = 56,501 to 38,979;
Sunday Mail – 25.2 per cent down = 377,207 to 282,073;
Scottish Sunday Express – 22.6 per cent down = 44,223 to 34,203;
The Sunday Post – 19.2 per cent drop = 229,016 to 185,884;
Scottish Mail on Sunday – 20.6 per cent down = 113,161 to 89,810;
The Observer – 16.4 per cent down = 18,290 to 15,291;
Scotland on Sunday – 15.2 per cent down = 46,327 to 39,264;
Sunday Telegraph – 9.9 cent down = 19,098 to 17,204;
Sunday Times – 7.3 per cent down = 53,456 to 49,541
the relatively recently-launched The Scottish Sun on Sunday sold, last month, an average 216,093 copies. In June, it was an average 217,948 copies;
So what can we read into these figures, other than the whole of the newspaper industry in Scotland is in Big Trouble!
Of the Daily papers, the Scottish Sun is holding up well, with only a 5% drop in circulation to 297,123 …It’s main tabloid competitor the Daily Record has had Double the Suns percentage drop at 10%, down further to 247,041
The Scotsman continues to haemorrhage readers, dropping a further 12.3% to 33,673 daily readers.
Although all the Sunday papers have been hit hard, by far the biggest drop of readership has been the Sunday Mail, losing a quarter of its readers in a year, reducing it from 377,207 to 282,073;
I think it would be probable to say that there are considerably more readers getting their news elsewhere, and online now. Which will of course have a significant effect on all print newspapers.
But people still buy newspapers on their way to work, or when travelling and at other times, so why are some losing readership at a greater rate than others in Scotland?
In its Hey day The Record and Sunday Mail, were the undisputed King and Queen of Scottish Daily and Sunday Newspapers, with circulations far outstripping their rivals. But no more!
The Scottish Sun is now Top Dog amongst the Red Tops and pulling further ahead by the day!
The Sunday Mail is still holding on to top spot of the Sundays, but the newly launched Scottish Sun is narrowing the gap, and in losing a quarter of its readership a year, will not keep the Sunday Mail top for very much longer.
There can only be one reason why the Record and Sunday Mail are performing so spectacularly badly, and that is because they no longer reflect the populaces views the way they used to.
By stubbornly backing a losing Labour horse, like all gamblers who make the wrong choice, they lose money!
By forever completely focussing on Rangers and Celtic in the Sports pages, they lose the interest of all those who now don’t follow football to the same extent as people used to, football attendance figures should have told them as much.
You either keep up with the people, or the people leave you far behind.
The Sun on the other hand has been much more alert to the drift of the populations thinking,and jumped onto the SNP bandwagon when their own polling told them something spectacular was happening in the lead up to the Holyrood elections of May 2011, and adjusted their attitude accordingly.
Only very recently, having got rid of some deadwood, have the Record shown any sign of very cautiously moving from their labour base. This was signified by the inclusion of a regular column by SNP Msp and journalist Joan McAlpine.
Meanwhile the likes of the Scotsman has almost completely imploded, because of their skewed British Nationalist and Unionist views..All their continually misleading headlines and misreporting and attacks on the SNP and Scottish Government, while serving as a mouth piece and propagandists for the Unionists…”SNP Accused”, being their favourite headline.
It has been reported elsewhere recently that they also got their hands dirty acting for Craig Whyte in the Rangers business, even when the BBC were exposing him! Again…all fairly typical for a Uniost serving paper of the British State.
The move from the Heralds proprietors from registering their circulation as a Daily and Sunday, to Regional newspapers is an interesting one.
One wonders why they did that? Perhaps because Dailys have their circulation figures published monthly and regional titles only reported in June and December of each year.
It suggests therefore that there is also further declining circulation figures for them too, only they don’t want these figures to be regularly seen. At last count they were doing better than the Scotsman, but they too had previously suffered from their all too cosy relationship with labour, and having editorial chummyness with the disgraced Glasgow Labour leader Stephen Purcell, in their Friday lunch club get togethers.
They do still possess some decent columnists such as Ian Bell and Ian McWhirter and Tom Shields…and a seeming move towrds being slightly more sympathetic to the Independence movement seemed to briefly pay off for a while. Unfortunately whatever ground that they made up has been lost overnight by the appointment of former Record Political editor Marcus Gardham, which can only surely seriously effect their readership of an Independent mind. They could only have made things worse by appointing the Telegraphs rabid Alan Cochrane as Head Political Editor, but not even they could risk such a move if they wanted to retain even half of their readership.
Interestingly enough, in the circulation figures for the Daily papers, the Daily Mail has fared very marginally better than the Sun in percentage loss at 5.2%… However their readership is not even half of the Sun’s.
This did surprise me slightly however, and I wondered how such a right wing paper was doing comparatively well in Scotland, when the indicators suggested this shouldn’t be?
So I did a straw poll of asking those people who I know, but are not of right wing view, why they bought the paper, considering some of its more extreme right wing views?
The response that came back told me, that women quite liked it for its magazine articles and thought it was very good for the likes of showbiz gossip etc.
So they do something well after all! They know how to attract the womans readership. And here is a lesson that obviously is of significance to the YES campaign, they need to be sure that they engage the women in our society, as they are a very important demographic in how Scotland will vote, amounting to 50% of the populace. So it is very assuring to see the Women for Independence movement started, led by women for women.
But there is a stark message for all Newspaper proprietors and Editors in Scotland from these circulation figures.
If you want your paper to survive, then you MUST start to pay much closer attention to what your readership wants, and to the mood of the Country.
If you don’t provide that simple service, you may soon be without a job and without a newspaper.
It is a message I hope that they will all belatedly heed.
We in Scotland deserve to be served better. We deserve to have fair and balanced and investigative journalism,and news reported correctly.
We the Scottish populace will not stand for being sold misinformation, jaundiced political views and political Spin(Lies)
Do so at your peril!
The World is moving on,Scotland is moving on, times are changing, the old order is dying out with the dregs of the British Empire.
Either learn and grow with us, or die and become extinct like the dinosaurs you have started to become.
The choice is Yours, and the Judgement is Ours!