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The good, the bad, and the ugly, Part I

The good, the bad, and the ugly, Part I

The print industry around the world is suffering. But more importantly, it is still surviving, Part I.


August 3, 2009 9:16 by

It’s easy to say the world of publishing is in crisis. But it’s a big world.

Across the globe, every country and every publisher has its own set of unique circumstances. While there may be consolidation and closure in one place- even in many places- in another there is expansion and evolution.

The good


In developing economies, the print industry is developing also. Hand in hand with improving education systems comes a more literate population; for India this means a growing audience for newspapers. Combine that with an expanding population (1.1 billion and counting), and the still marginal penetration of the internet, and the recipe is set for growing readership. The Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry recorded a 7.6 percent growth in the print media industry in 2008. The projection between 2009 and 2013 is a growth of 12.5 percent per year.

In China, a new English version of The Global Times launched in April. It’s another developing market, where population expansion and economic development is also creating an expanded audience. In addition to this, the government is keen to promote a stronger Chinese media voice internationally, and has reportedly set aside up to 50 billion Yuan (over $7 billion) for this purpose.

In the more mature Japanese market, meanwhile, newspapers survive thanks to an elderly population who keep it afloat through loyal purchase (nearly one in five Japanese is aged 65 or older). As in many markets, advertising revenue has dropped, but titles are less reliant on this income thanks to high newsstand prices.

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