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Monday, November 07, 2005

Slow decline in New Zealand Herald circulation?

Have a look at the Audit Bureau of Circulation figures for the New Zealand Herald.

I used to buy the Herald regularly before I started reading the international and national blogs.

Now I don't bother.

Why? Because the international pages are simply wire stories from overseas and often include looney pieces from The Independent and Reuters; the national stories are mostly boring and/or nonsense, and free from their website anyway; the specials are often sensationalistic crap; and the front-page is becoming very tabloid-like.

Last Friday the headline was "When will they learn" or similar, beside a photo of a car crash scene involving some drunken fool woman. Yes, this was the week the Paris riots became much worse. Provincial attitudes like that from New Zealand's biggest paper are embarrassing.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 11/07/2005 11:21:00 AM


Blogger Bernard Woolley said...

I prefer to buy a coffee at a cafe, and read the paper whilst I'm there. Far better value for money, and takes about the same amount of time to skim through the first couple of sections - i.e. avoiding travel, entertainment, cars and all the crap that is completely irrelevant to news.

11/07/2005 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I haven't bought one for five years at least.

11/07/2005 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Yes, that would be the extent of my paper Herald-reading these days as well.

The market is wide-open for a paper of better quality, but I think the whole cost-distribution-revenue system preferred by existing papers is broken and will lead to long-term decline as people become less willing to fork out hundreds of dollars for old news.

What you need is a very cheap and efficient online system for creating and distributing content (with online ads and full discussion board facilities, also with content-relevant ads). Authors get a fixed income plus a pro-rata share based on audited traffic to their articles. Then you'd sell paper copies of the best content the next day as the icing on the cake, again with some of the revenue divided amongst the contributing authors.

The content is of value, paper is just another medium for distributing it.

11/07/2005 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Berend de Boer said...

Paris is burning and all the opinion makers in the dead wood industry can bring themselves to discuss is how it will hurt the election chances of Villepin and Sarkozy.

If the riots are even larger on Sunday night (anyone aware of a live audio link?) there might not even be a France to be elected in.

11/07/2005 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

The old media companies have it the other way around: they think their papers have intrinsic value (remember the masthead revaluations of the Herald in the 90s?) and the content is seen to gain value by being distributed by the paper as much as having value by itself. They are also stuck in a 24 hour production cycle.

11/07/2005 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

AL THe online Australian seems pretty much doing exactly that. Very imressive. The Herald is proccupied trying to screw a few extra bob out of it's columnists and thereby doing to them as TVNZ is doing to Wood. Destroying its few remaining real assets. People ain't going to pay money to read repeats from the Guardian and the Indepenbent when they can see the real thing in all its odium on the net anyway.

BTW, any bets on who will wn? Wood or TVNZ? I reckon Wood. Of course the real winner is TV3.

11/07/2005 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Bernard Woolley said...

Adolf - since when was Wood an asset to TVNZ? ;)

11/07/2005 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger francis said...

There is a very, VERY widespread belief among media suits here that all New Zealanders want to read is New Zealand news. They got that idea from market research, they didn't make it up. There are times when a locally generated story about oil prices won't run unless it has a local quote. It's not provincialism -- it's market strategy, and it's the readership that's to blame.

11/09/2005 02:03:00 AM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Since Cullen classed student loans as assets.

11/09/2005 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Hm. Media companies doing market research to determine what people 'want' from their news confirms everything negative I ever thought about New Zealand media companies.

11/09/2005 08:58:00 AM  

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