“Newspapers here to stay” : OECD report

A new study by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and
(OECD) says that, while Canada is one of the top-5 hardest
hit newspaper industries in the industrialized world, the beloved medium isn’t going

“While it is clear that newspapers and other more formalized news outlets are experiencing threats and challenges to their more traditional business models from the Internet, it is also true that we are experiencing a period of great opportunity …”

“It looks as if — on average across the world — newspapers are here to stay,” co-author Sacha Wunsch-Vincent told Canwest News Service on Monday.

The study found that, among the organization’s 30 member countries, Canada has experienced one of the biggest drops in newspaper readership in the past decade, down 17 percent between 2007-2009. That follows the U.S.’s 30% decline over the same period.

In Canada, 73% of adults described themselves as daily newspaper readers in 2008, compared to 82% in 2002.

The report found reasons the industry should be worried:

“A significant proportion of young people are not reading conventional news at all, or irregularly,” the authors state. “The study also finds that currently no business and/or revenue-sharing models have been found to finance in-depth independent news production.

“This raises questions as to the supply of high-quality journalism in the longer term.”

The Edmonton Journal reports:

“Canada, like the U.S., Britain, Germany, Spain and a handful of other countries, provides no direct subsidies to newspapers.

“But the report noted legislative efforts in the U.S. to find ways to help papers survive, perhaps by allowing giants like the New York Times to establish themselves as non-profit institutions eligible for tax-deductible donations.

“That would put the U.S. closer to countries such as Italy, France and Sweden, which provide huge subsidies for their newspaper sectors.”