Internet Adoption and the Survival of Print Newspapers: A Country-Level Examination
20 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2015
Date Written: February 11, 2015
In this paper we examine the effect of Internet adoption on daily print newspaper circulation and newspaper survival rates. We use country-level yearly panel data from more than ninety countries for 2000 through 2009 containing information on Internet penetration, daily local and national print newspaper circulation, and the number of local and national print newspaper titles. Our results show that increases in Internet penetration can explain a large fraction of the decline in newspaper circulation and in the number of newspaper titles observed in recent years. Internet adoption appears to affect local newspapers to a greater extent than national newspapers, which might be due to local newspapers’ greater reliance on classified advertising. Our results further suggest that Internet adoption decreases country-level circulation rates by driving newspapers out of business without significantly affecting the net circulation rates of surviving newspapers. Because newspaper readership has been linked to the health of the democratic system, the importance of examining the decline of the newspaper industry extends beyond the literature on the media industry.
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