The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) is the not-for-profit organization that represents the interests of over 2,000 newspapers and other print publications. Its roots can be traced back to 1887, and for many years its magazine Presstime has kept members up-to-date on trends in the marketplace. Therefore, it seems sadly ironic that the NAA is killing its print edition of Presstime. The magazine will now be available in an on-line version only.
According to Editor & Publisher, the NAA has also cut its staff by half. The changes are a further reflection of the accelerating troubles of the print newspaper industry, which threatens dailies from The Los Angeles Times to The New York Times (NYT). According to NAA's statistics, industry advertising revenue dropped by 18.1 percent in 2008, following two previous years of decline. This year promises more of the same, if not worse.
Newspaper readership has declined every year for the past 20 years. The decline has been most noticeable in the 18-24 age group, which is dropping a percent a year.
I have no doubt that extreme duress drove the NAA to this measure, knowing full well that it would serve as a sad commentary on the state of the industry. Print may not be dead, but it's wearing a face mask and avoiding crowds.
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