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:
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:
The picture for the Sunday papers is even more dismal:
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.
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