The Press Gazette reports on the fall of circulation for all ‘quality daily’ newspapers; reflecting the changing face of the media. The Guardian and the Observer are reportedly the hardest-hit with a fall of 11.97% year-on-year and the Observer dropped 19.38%. The spectacular fall is attributed to the ending of distribution of ‘bulks’; the free copies of the paper that people pick-up.
News International is dropping sales of it’s bulks after both The Times and Sunday Times joined the pattern of circulation decrease. It is also planning to introduce charges on it’s websites next year however, if it expects this to raise alot of revenue or generate more sales the experience with bulks tends to suggest it is going to be disappointed. People simply won’t start paying for something they had previously been getting for free because you start charging for it, in fact, they are likely to take the opposite course of action. I would imagine that all that this will achieve is to cement the Telegraph‘s hegemony over the ‘quality’ market.
However, it probably helps explain News International’s increasingly vociferous hostility to the BBC. It also explains why it is cosying-up to the Conservatives; Market Oracle reports that Murdoch is attempting to ‘buy’ Cameron’s election victory (lucky Cameron has both Murdoch and Ashcroft itching to buy him the right result). It sees clearly the collory between News International’s difficulties and it’s political manouverings;
The answer to the problem of the internet and the BBC is clearly for the Murdoch press to seek favour from a new government policy in reward for electioneering support that will result in a government that is willing to implement policies to diminish the competition poised by both the BBC and the internet.
The interesting question is what effect this will have on the BBC because, as it is supposed to be neutral, it is unable to actually counter explicitly these actions. In that regard at least it is deeply unfair to the BBC that it is duty-bound to remain impartial when the Murdoch Press is governed by no such qualms or strictures. There is actually no solution to this problem via legislation but it might be worth people considering the impact a Conservative vote may well see not just attacks on the BBC but also the freedom of the internet too.