THE DECLINING STATE OF NEW ZEALAND NEWSPAPERS
By Richard Harman (author)
The number of copies of New Zealand daily newspapers sold over the past five years has plunged by 23%.
Newspaper circulation figures obtained by POLITIK show the situation is even worse for weekly newspapers like the Sundays and the National Business Review.
Their total copies sold have dropped by 52%.
These drops are obviously a consequence of the internet.
Therefore it is perhaps surprising that the largest drops have been among provincial papers with the Waikato Times, the Manawatu Standard and Bay of Plenty Times all recording drops of over 30%.
Among the weeklies, the Sunday News is down by 49% and the NBR by 38% to just 5402 copies.
And it is a weekly that has shown the smallest drop; the Herald on Sunday is down by only 3.7% while the Otago Daily Times, the Wairarapa Times Age and the Greymouth Star have all recorded relatively small drops around 10%.
The country’s largest paper, the NZ Herald is down 21.8% to 130,937 copies.
It dominates the New Zealand newspaper market with the second largest selling daily paper, The Dominion Post, selling 63,009 copies.
With thee exceptions of a few independents like the Otago Daily Times (34,112 sales) the country’s papers belong to either APN or Fairfax groups and both have big news websites.
According to the media industry website, “StopPress”, Stuff averaged 1,733,000 visitors per months to its site while the NZHerald received 1,315,000 visits.
Averaged out that equates to about 80,000 a weekday on Stuff and 61,000 a weekday on the NZHerald.
Those numbers may explain where some of the lost newspaper readers have gone.
They almost match exactly the total numerical loss from the daily papers over the five years --- 139,132.