Newspaper sales plunge 30% as virus closes outlets
Plunging sales: virus has halted sales of papers
Sales of national newspapers are said to have fallen by as much as 30% since the start of the government-imposed coronavirus lockdown.
Hundreds of journalists , photographers and advertising staff at print titles have been laid off with their wages paid by the state.
Many now fear they will not be taken back when the crisis is over as sales and advertising revenue are not expected to return to pre-virus levels.
Many readers are staying at home, leading to an absence of commuters and shoppers. Many newsagents are closed and supermarkets are expected to cut the numbers of copies they take from next week.
Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, the director of the Reuters Institute at the University of Oxford, told The Guardian that he expected “huge declines in advertising revenues” owing to the looming recession.
He predicted the economic effects of the pandemic could potentially remove 10% of all frontline journalistic jobs in the UK.
Some local paper owners have stopped printing for the duration of the crisis, including 12 owned by JPI Media.
However, the editor of the Edinburgh Evening News claimed sales of the title, owned by JPI Media were down by only 107 year on year.
Newsquest, owner of The Herald & Times in Glasgow, has issued a bleaker outlook and has imposed pay cuts as sales and revenue plunge. Senior managers have been told to take two weeks of unpaid leave.
Online news sites, such as Daily Business, have seen a rise in traffic as readers switch to websites.
Larger news organisations continue to rely on the cover price of titles and print adverts for the bulk of their revenue.