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Newspapers still losing readers but tabloids buck trend

There is “no evidence” of people switching from print to online newspapers in the past year, says survey.

EIGHTY PER CENT of adults are regular newspaper readers, a 2 per cent decline on the same period last year, according to figures from the Joint National Readership Survey (JNRS).

The JNRS’s 2011-12 report shows that 2.88 million adults read a newspaper regularly between June 2011 and May 2012 compared to 2.94 million last year, mirroring industry trends in the rest of the world.

However, the survey found there was “no evidence” of people switching from print to online newspapers in the past year.

Readership of The Irish Times was down 37,000 or 11 per cent to 287,000, while The Irish Independent recorded a decline of 35,000 or 7 per cent to 465,000. Readership of The Irish Examiner held steady at 169,000.

Although The Irish Daily Star recorded a readership of 348,000, down 24,000 or 6 per cent, readership at the other Irish tabloids was up. The Irish Sun was up 21,000 or 8 per cent to 297,000, The Irish Daily Mail was up 18,000 or 13 per cent to 159,000 while the Irish Mirror recorded a slight increaser of 1000 readers to 208,000.

Despite the declines, the National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI) said the latest figures showed that newspaper readership remained strong.

“These figures show that Irish newspaper readership remains very strong, in spite of factors such as the continuing recession and proliferation of other media,” said Frank Cullen of NNI.

“As an industry I would say we are encouraged but not surprised by the findings of the latest JNRS.”

Among Sunday Newspapers, readership also fell among most titles. The Sunday Independent recorded a readership of 914,000, down 57,000 or 5.9 per cent while the Sunday Times saw its readership fall by 33,000 or 8.2 per cent to 367,000. The Irish Mail on Sunday was up by 15,000 readers, or 5 per cent, to 345,000.

Readership figures record the total number of people who will read one paper as opposed to circulation figures, which record the number of papers in circulation on any given day.

New figures show falling circulation for most Irish daily newspapers>

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