Sunday, February 14, 2010

Do newspaper web sites complement print -- or compete?

A new study of Australian newspapers offers some intriguing thoughts about readers, print and web both. The study, offered in the Sydney Morning Herald, says that web sites are complementing print editions, rather than competing with them. It suggests that readers use the two platforms for different purposes.

"If readers want to know more about cars, dining out, real estate and sport they will turn to the newspaper, while readers who are interested in travel, technology, and celebrities and gossip will get it from a newspaper website," it said.

For a lot of years, I've been dismayed at the quality of studies reporting on newspapers because they seldom looked at how people are using media. This one apparently does.

At the same time, the question posed in the headline above is one that I think every publisher and editor should be asking daily.

A different report of a different aspect of what appears to be the same study focuses on print newspaper sales in Australia, reporting they are doing much better than those in the U.S. or even Europe, even showing some increases.

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