What about the world ?
As we have seen earlier, the two national presses are in overall decline. But the situation is even worse for the French press. In fact, in 2009 the highest selling newspaper of UK, The Sun, had a circulation of 3 146 000 copies for 61.5 million residents, while the biggest one in France, Ouest-France, had only a circulation of 768 226 copies for a population of 64.7 million according to the INSEE.
The written press decline is actually touching both of the countries, but not in the same way.
What about the decline of the press in the world?
The written press development has been different throughout the world. First seen in the industrialized countries, after the arrival of the new technologies it has been really contrasted.
In Japan, Sweden, Germany and the Western countries written press has not been as affected by the decline as in the others countries: it has managed to keep its audience and its advertising revenue even with the digital technology’s competitors. Great Britain is a different kind of country, because large group’s dynamics helped to keep the press audiences up.
Despite the important decrease of newspaper and/or the disappearance of some titles, like The Seattle Post Intelligencer (an online-only version continues) the USA managed to preserve the written press thanks to their regionalization as well as internationalization.
France has seen an important loss of audience which affected mainly the national dailies, while the magazines, thanks to their diversification and specialties managed to keep dynamism and audience.
Even though, there aren’t any countries without a daily in decline.
Compared to the world, the French press has now huge difficulties. In fact, even the biggest newspaper, the daily Ouest-France arrives 76th in global ranking of the most circulated dailies in the world, largely behind American, British or even Japanese dailies.
In the United States, according to Robert G Picard in 2006 assure that there were 131.2 copies sold daily for 1000 residents in 1950, against 183 for 1000 residents in 2004, so a drop of 48.1%.
Even if the economic crisis doesn’t touch Germany as much, we can also see a decline of the press in the country. With 21.5 million copies sold daily in 2005, the World Association of Newspaper said that Germany was fifth in the world. But this represents a 2.5% drop over 2004. In fact, the German readership has been in decline since the German reunification in 1990.But this situation is not present only in Germany. All Europe has difficulties: for example, the EurActiv website said that the market has been contracted by 21% in UK, 18% in Italy, 11% in Poland and 4% in France.
Even if the high number of residents in Asian countries helped the written press to live, the decline is also present. In fact, Jean-Claude Courdy, a journalist living in Tokyo where he is the Foreign Press President says that with its 500 newspapers for 50 million residents, Japan is ranked number one for the number of titles, and third for circulation. The written press in Asia still seems to be less prone to the decline and has fewer difficulties.
Here is a graphic of the most circulated dailies in the world:
But even though, Asia still feels the crisis, and begins to turn towards new technologies.
This phenomenon is observed in the whole world. Indeed, each big newspaper has developed its own website. Here is a graphic of the most read online newspapers in the world.
So now we can ask ourselves, why does the written press have to move to the internet to survive, and what are the reasons of its decline?