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January 24, 2008

Asian newspapers booming

By Martin Stabe wirepost

With increaing incomes, literacy levels and press freedoms, newspapers are booming in Asia, reports the Christian Science Monitor.

According to the World Association of Newspapers, circulations in Asia rose 3.6 percent in 2006, compared with a 0.74 percent rise in Europe and a 2 percent fall in North America. Of the world’s 100 bestselling newspapers, 70 are published in Asia.

Profits are also up as advertisers seek to reach consumers in growing cities. In India, newspaper advertising revenues rose 85 percent between 2001 and 2006 as circulations have increased 54 percent.

But the Monitor also notes that the trend does not extend to some markets with growing digital media, like Taiwan and South Korea. Japan has the highest per-capita newspaper readership in the world, but even there circulations have declined recently.

But even that might change, Hisayoshi Ina, vice chairman of the editorial board at the Japanese paper Nikkei, tells the Monitor: “The younger generation don’t have the habit to read the newspaper. They prefer the Internet to paper.”

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