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European newspapers succeeding where US papers failing

Via Cox News Service:

London, for example, is bursting with several thriving competitors, boasting at least five serious newspapers and four tabloids. In Berlin, Europe's largest paper, Bild, reported its most profitable year yet in 2007.

Experts say European papers are prospering largely because they haven't followed the U.S. path of draconian — and self-defeating — cuts in scope and quality of coverage.

"It's a mystery to me why (U.S.) publishers think people will pay more for less, especially when the online world offers so many alternatives," said George Kennedy, a professor emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Journalism who spent the summer in London. "It's no accident that U.S. readership of the Economist, the Guardian, and the Times has gone up as their American competitors have cut back staff, pages, and ambition."

But some experts say European newspaper companies have also been more willing to experiment with new technologies, news and advertising formats, and promotions, and their innovations are paying off in continued readership.

Perhaps the most important factor in the success of European newspapers is their effectiveness at guiding readers to their Web sites.

According to the Newspaper Association of America, Web sites of U.S. papers attracted an average of 65.4 million monthly visitors in June. By comparison, the Newspaper Marketing Agency in the much smaller United Kingdom reported that in June, the Web sites of six large national newspapers drew 94.8 million visitors.

The Paris-based World Association of Newspapers reported this year that European online revenues are forecast to more than double in the next five years, and will account for 12 percent of total newspaper advertising by 2011.

In other words, our famously free press is an epic fail. We already know they shit the bed on content and coverage -- Hi Judy!MR SUBLIMINAL And to be fair, Hi Ron!--and now it turns out they're lousy business people, too, when benchmarked against international competition.

It's almost as if... As if...

Their corporate masters felt there was more money to be made -- when taking the net for all their interests -- by not reporting the news, than by reporting it. Why would that be?

Then again, that would be foily.

NOTE Can someone say, market opportunity?

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haelig's picture
Submitted by haelig on

is that Europeans are far more wired in than the American populace: from what I've read and heard, countries such as France have faster broadband networks at a far cheaper price. So it's not that the Internet is killing the American newspaper industry: I agree that they are purposefully committing suicide in the name of corporate profits.