Monday, November 20, 2006

Good news for the news business

I’m in a good mood today. In fact, I’m feeling almost vindicated.

My upbeat attitude isn’t due only to the fact that I’ll be stuffing my face with turkey and mashed potatoes in a mere two days.

I’m pumped because the Baltimore Sun is reporting today that college newspapers are read by an average of 76 percent of full-time college students.

Obviously this is good news to me. Newspapers simply don’t exist without readership.

And I think this also bodes well for the future of an industry that some say is on its way out.

There are about 6 million full-time college students in this country, and research shows that more than three-quarters of them are regular readers who pick up a newspaper for both editorial and advertising content. That’s more than encouraging.

I’d have to say it makes sense considering the Collegian’s circulation this year.

Newspapers live and die by readership so we make sure to track how many people are picking up the paper each day. We figure two people read each copy of the paper. Therefore, our readership is actually double our circulation.

The Collegian ranges in circulation depending on how far we are into the semester. Things like football season and breaking news stories factor in as well.

But this year has been a steady climb in terms of numbers. Circulation has been consistently upwards of 20,000 each day for several weeks now, making us right on par or ahead of our benchmark year in 1999.

What this does for us financially is it gives advertisers more incentive to use our newspaper as a way to get their message to potential customers.

Would you rather advertise in a newspaper of 10,000 or 50,000 daily circulation? That answer’s pretty simple.