A couple of weeks ago the Audit Bureau of Circulations figures for national newspapers for June was reported in the Press Gazette. It shows that newspapers are fishing an increasingly shallow pool as readers turn away from them.
The average drop in year on year average circulation figures across the dailies was 7.9%. However, as you can see from the table below, some fared worse than others…
The New Labour supporting Times and increasingly confused Telegraph both showed above average falls in average daily circulation, reflecting their lack of relevance. But it is the left leaning papers that are really suffering. The Daily Star recorded the biggest drop and The Guardian saw the third largest decline.
The Guardian is firmly on track to fall below the quarter of a million average daily circulation figure. But that notwithstanding it continues to enjoy audience reach through its broadcasting arm, the BBC, which spouts the Guardian editorial line as if it were a given truth. Again, this raises the question of the disproportionate influence The Guardian has over the BBC. Despite the fact readers are rejecting The Guardian newspaper in greater numbers than the industry average, it is referenced far more by the BBC than any other organ and more journalists from The Guardian are called upon to offer commentary and opinion than from any other paper.
We could hope the BBC Trust might take time to commission a review into plurality of opinion among its invited guests, but if recent ‘independent’ reviews are anything to go by they would probably maintain their incestuous relationship by asking Peter Preston to conduct it, and the outcome would likely be a recommendation that the BBC stops inviting any journalists on air except those from The Guardian, current or retired, and that Alan Rusbridger be given his own primetime TV slot to share his views on Britain, News Corporation and the world.
Without the BBC the fact is the Guardian would be sinking much further even quicker. From the advertising revenue to the visibility and platform afforded to the paper, the licence fee payer is being compelled to subsidise a declining business under pain of fine or imprisonment. Bar the grumbling what is anyone doing to address this outrageous state of affairs?