Yesterday, a regional paper that scrapped its Saturday edition announced it had seen a 25 per cent increase in sales of its Friday paper.
The Bristol Post became a five day publication last month and created the Post Weekend, which has full details of things to do in the city over the weekend.
Bristol News and Media has said circulation on Fridays is up by an average of 8,000 copies compared to before the change.
While I don’t think this is a sign that the industry is saved and all local dailies should produce a ‘bumper’ edition on a Friday and see a rise in sales, I do think it is a positive sign. Things might not be quite as doom and gloom as we think they are.
I know, personally, I see news of dailies becoming weeklies or becoming five days a week instead of six and I worry about what is going to happen to the newspaper industry in the future. If they’re making cuts and getting rid of jobs then there can’t be much future. And as someone who would quite like to work for a newspaper that makes me kind of sad.
But actually, if people are still buying local newspapers, and in increasing numbers by these figures, then surely there is a little bit of hope?
Because if people are buying newspapers (which, clearly they are) then there’s a need for journalists who can produce the content, and subs who can edit and design.
And like I say, I don’t think that it’s the answer for every newspaper that’s seeing it’s circulation falling. But it’s clearly worked in Bristol so I don’t see why it couldn’t work in other parts of the country.
And maybe it’s just because it’s something new and in the next few weeks the circulation will fall again. Or maybe it’s just a last ditch attempt at saving a newspaper before it accepts that digital is the future. Or maybe they’re actually on to something good. Only time will tell. But I think it’s one worth watching to see what happens.
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After finishing my stint in student media, I couldn’t help but look