Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New 'E&P' Poll Reveals Very Active Readership

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New 'E&P' Poll Reveals Very Active Readership

Article excerpt

But survey shows it's time for papers to woo more women, younger readers

Despite growing competition from cable television and the Internet, newspapers remain a regular staple of most people's lives, according to a new Editor & Publisher/TIPP poll. It reveals more than half of all adults read a newspaper at least five days per week.

Moreover, the poll of 1,956 adults conducted two weeks ago shows that those regular readers are far more likely to vote than others, and they still rely on newspapers -- not network or cable TV programs -- for most of their presidential campaign news [see story page 18].

But while the survey offers a positive outlook for overall newspaper readership, it also shows that a disproportionate number of regular newspaper readers are over 45, with the most fervent at 65 or older, indicating more work is needed to draw Generations X and Y. "Newspapers are becoming more challenged to get that younger reader," said Raghavan Mayur, TIPP president, who conducted the poll for E&P.

The survey's key readership finding shows that more than half of those responding, 53%, said they read a newspaper between five and seven days per week. With the U.S. Census estimating the current adult population at 205 million, that equates to 108.6 million people who regularly read newspapers. "It reinforces the trend that, as other media proliferate, newspapers hold steady," said Cindy Butner, research director for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Newspapers still have strong reach and can be an anchor among other media that are growing."

More than 40% of all adults read a newspaper seven days a week, the poll found. "I don't think it is a surprise because you really don't get much news from other media," said John Morton, a veteran newspaper analyst based in Maryland. "Television news has really become a headline service -- it's talk, talk, talk, and personalities."

The poll also revealed that 37% read a newspaper between one and four days per week. That means that fully 90% of all adults are newspaper readers. Among the regular readers, 60% are 45 years of age or older, much higher than their share of the general population. Retirees, in fact, make up 23% of regular newspaper readers, while they comprise just 16% of the general population, according to the poll. …

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