New figures show MSM press circulation almost universally falling hard

The latest “ABC National Newspaper Report” figures, which have been tweeted by Buzzfeed’s Mark di Stefano, make grim reading for almost all the UK’s mainstream press.

Of the week-day dailies, only The Times has managed an increase – and that by only 0.35%. The others have fallen by a significant and in at least one case calamitous percentage:

press circ

di Stefano did not include a figure for the Daily Express in his tweet, but the full table shows that to be down by over 7%, like its companion in the ‘mid-market’ bracket, the Daily Mail:

abc press circ full

The picture for the Sunday papers is even more dismal:

sunday press circ

The Sunday Times has not managed the feat of its week-day sister, falling by over 4%. The Sunday Mirror’s fall of 22% is even worse than the 19% suffered by the daily version, but all the others have also fallen more sharply than their week-day equivalents – except for the Observer, which did slightly better than its sister The Guardian.

Even worse for the press, the fall took place from a low starting-point, as circulations have been in decline for years – again with the exception of The Times:


The continued decline no doubt reflects the increasing tendency of the population to online news sources as trust in the ‘MSM’ dwindles.


Small wonder that Theresa May is floating plans to shore up the incomes of the mainstream press at the expense of independent, online outlets.

But the mainstream press – and its broadcast counterparts – are considered by many to be the primary sources of fake news and a more aware population, with access to alternative sources of news, is becoming more aware of such abuses of trust.

This access to information is a clear threat to the Establishment – which no doubt explains ever-increasing moves to filter out independent news on social media.

Few on whom the awareness of ‘mainstream fake news’ has dawned will be greatly mourning the decline of the Establishment press.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. Got me wondering about their digital platforms – a quick google didn’t show any up-to-date results.
    I click out even when their sites bleat about my adblocker – when they let me read a couple of paragraphs before a paywall appears I’m steaming when I click out so I don’t think they can be doing great.
    Can’t see how they’re going to survive – 🙂 – I reckon you’ll be getting their journo’s phoning in tips soon enough hoping to enhance their future job prospects.
    Never objected to advertising in the old Guardian pre-www. I’d be fine with it on left wing sites like yours if it helps you all thrive and concentrate on kicking Tory arse.
    Just sayin’

    1. Agreed affordability is possibly a bigger reason for decline especially as you can get the same MSM ( in some cases )for free online.. But once surfing hopefully folks will become more aware of alternative points of view and more rounded /truthful reporting of events than that of the MSM. I’ve been better informed thanks to people in comments sections linking to alt news sources .

      1. Good post. The comments sections in alternative sites are often witty and educational. Cheers.

  2. Mass circulation newspapers have been a feature of UK society for just over 160 years. In the scheme of things that is not a very long period of time so why would anyone assume that the “printed press” was here to stay. Daily printed newspapers have had their day . I will give them another decade or so before the majority disappear and folk obtain their “news” via new technologies . (think of the trees that will be saved).

    1. I often print out multiple copies of pieces from alternative media that I consider valuable and drop them off all over the place, often overtly but also surreptitiously. I’m old and remember vividly sticking up posters in the early hours. “Bill stickers will be prosecuted”. I often wonder if he ever was. Regards.

  3. Yet all the TV news shows still use them as their lead from stories and put them forward as sources of what are talking points the country. For most people newsprint has no relevance at all yet politicians still go to them first to see how they are performing and what they should be saying. Not so much with Labour now but under Blair you could forecast what people like Balls thought by getting to the Sun before he did.

  4. These figures are fairly meaningless because, as others have stated, readers of print MSM are turning to online versions of the same MSM. Apparently Daily Mail online is the most widely read online publication in the world. I’m afraid your conclusion that the Establishment press influence is declining is not borne out by these statistics on their own.


    Good. Not surprising with the amount of abject, dumbed-down ‘sleb’ shite they fill their rags with these days. That’s when they’re not spewing their vile elitist propaganda.

    Not remotely interested in which soap ‘star’ is sh*gging which; or whcih one’s handbag cost £5k ffs – Not when I’m constantly worrying and being annoyed with what the rats in Govt will either hit me with – while rewarding themselves or absolving themselves of the crimes they’re committing daily.

    There’s a plethora of lazy, spineless bastards in that industry that deserve unemployment and all the sh*t that goes with it. Be poetic justice for a fair few of them, too.

    Most of the rest just pay lip service to the real issues of the day.

  6. One of the roles of a free press is to hold politicians and commerce up for scrutiny and criticism. This has almost disappeared over the last 40 years. The UK used to have one of the highest readership of daily papers in most of the western world. The older generation (I’m over 60 myself, and also sick and tired of being blamed for Brexit BTW) I know personally are actually split into 2 groups – the under 70s who are more NLM savvy, and the 70+ who are MSM users, and treat the BBC as the fountain of truth. I had a long discussion with one of my fellow party members (aged 79) about this topic, and he defended Laura K, because she was a BBC journalist. When I was able to show him her background, and the BBC own findings on her partisan behaviour, he became visibly crumpled, and said “I didn’t know!”. At least we had that conversation, and he now understands where I get my info from isn’t just ” internet gossip”, but access to facts. Just a couple of million left to convert, one at a time, lol.

    And this site is a huge part of the NLM access to factual counter reporting. Big thanks!

  7. I see The Daily Mirror’s decision to jump on the Corbyn bashing bandwagon did wonders for their circulation.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: