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2009-11-03 22:16:34|  分类: Daily reading |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Oct 29th 2009 
From The Economist print edition

Most national papers in America are faring better than metropolitan ones

THE slope down which America’s metropolitan newspapers are tumbling became steeper this week. On October 26th the Audit Bureau of Circulations revealed that the Los Angeles Times had lost 11% of its paying readers in the past year. Circulation at the Boston Globe tumbled by 18%. At the San Francisco Chronicle it fell by 26%.

Many small local newspapers fared better. Take, for example, the Oakland Press, a Michigan newspaper where circulation grew from 63,000 to 68,000. The paper deals with the minutiae of municipal water rates and sex scandals in the local school system—the sort of thing that rarely makes the home page of Yahoo! News.

But the biggest headlines were made by newspapers with a national reach. Circulation at the Wall Street Journal, which includes paying online subscribers, rose to more than 2m, making it America’s biggest paper. Daily sales of the New York Times fell by 7%—less than average, despite price increases. The Sunday paper lost just 2.7%. The exception to the rule was the former top newspaper, USA Today, which is mostly distributed in hotels. A recession-induced dearth of business travellers helped drive circulation down by 17%, but it ought to bounce back.

America is now a battleground between these three, with metropolitan papers suffering collateral damage. The New York Times, which this spring sold just 32% of its daily papers in its home state (down from 42% in 2002) is now targeting the region around San Francisco Bay. For the past few weeks it has been running a twice-weekly “Bay Area report” inside the main newspaper. The Wall Street Journal plans a similar move in the area. Robert Thomson, the paper’s editor, says the next campaign may be for the Texas cities of Dallas and Houston, where the incumbents report steep circulation drops.

Metropolitan papers rely heavily on classified advertising, which has plummeted by 40% in the past year, according to the Newspaper Association of America. Some of the loss is permanent: listings websites like Craigslist are strongest in big cities. The papers have responded by raising prices, abolishing bureaus and dropping readers in more distant suburbs, who are less alluring to advertisers. Metropolitan newspapers are thus turning into city newspapers, a blow to their future prospects, since virtually all the population growth in America is in the suburbs and exurbs.

Another source of change in the newspaper business is news. America is engaged in two foreign conflicts. It has an ambitious president, who was elected following a long, gripping national campaign. Mr Obama’s rise has suited national cable networks, particularly Fox News, which is conducting a well-publicised battle with the White House. It suits the national papers, too.

New Words:


tumbling v 翻倒,滚动

slope v 倾斜

steeper adj. 险竣的,陡峭的

Circulation n. 流通,循环,发行量
minutiae  n 细节;琐事;小事;细目
municipal 
adj. 市的,市政的
collateral
adj.
1. 侧面的,旁边的
2. 并列的,并行的
3. 伴随的;辅助的,附属的
4. 附加的;证实的
5. 附属担保的
6. 次要的;间接的
7. 旁系的;旁系亲属的
incumbents
adj.
1. 成为责任的;必须履行的;有义务的,义不容辞的(upon, on)
2. 在职的;现任的
3. 上覆的,凭倚的;压在上面的(on)
4. 【植物学】(花药)内曲的;(子叶)背倚的
5. 【地质学】上覆的
6. [古语]弯垂的;弯垂触及下方表面的

n.
1. [英国英语](教会中)领圣俸者;教区牧师
2. (美国政府或团体等)在职者;现任者
bureaus
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