Regional Papers Aren’t Down The Dump Yet

Regional Papers Aren’t Down The Dump Yet

While much of the news about print in recent times has made for rather dire reading, research company Roy Morgan insists regional newspapers are still managing to kick some butt around towns.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

Despite stating the printed copies of newspapers are nearing the end, executive chairman of Roy Morgan, Gary Moragn, said it’s the regional and community papers that are holding strong.

“Unfortunately the printed copy of newspapers is pretty close to the finish,” he told a room packed with brands at the company’s annual State of the Nation report.

“Not all,” he quickly added. “Suburban newspapers and community newspapers are still going okay. And in Sydney, particularly okay.”

The breakfast in Sydney yesterday saw the research behemoth divulge exactly what’s happening in the media around the country right now.

Echoing Morgan’s suggestion, Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, went so far as to deem local newspapers as the “jewel in the crown”.

“People love their local newspapers and they love them no where more than in regional areas,” she said.

“So local newspapers, regional newspapers are still doing extremely well,” said Levine, following up the point with an image of a beaming Michael Miller, head of APN news and media and chairman of industry body The Newspaper Works. However, this morning it was announced Miller will take the reins as executive chairman at News Corp Australia.

However, referencing a recent story, she made note of the fact newspaper revenues are shifting to new sources.

“’The subsidy that advertisers have long provided to news content is now gone’,” she said, summarising the article. “Interesting point, an interesting way of looking at it. And if you doubted that, we’re now seeing news coming through Facebook. The Internet is playing out like no other medium that we’ve ever seen.”

When talking about the reach of media jungle around the place, and which age groups are more privy to what, Levine demonstrated how print – both newspapers and magazines – still reach traditional families.

“Print has definitely dropped off among young people, but there are just huge differences between titles.

“You’ve got the regional papers doing extremely well in regional areas. You’ve got the up-market magazines doing extremely well…then you’ve got the free supermarket magazines, which are their own market.

“This is a very fragmented market and heavily targeted magazines,” she added. “So you can actually really see the niche audiences getting stronger.”