Politicians pay close attention to what newspaper editorial boards write, but why? The latest report from the newspaper industry’s “Audit Bureau of Circulation” reports circulation is continuing its downward spiral — falling almost 5 percent nationally. In Texas, the Houston Chronicle has seen an 11.7 percent drop in readership this year during the week and a 15.7 percent decline on Sundays. In the latest report, less than 450,000 people read the Chronicle each day — in a region of 4 million people!

The lefty press fawns over the liberally-slanted New York Times, yet that paper now a touches just over a million subscribers — less than 10 percent of the residents of the city for which it is allegedly the newspaper of record.

Bucking the trend is the conservative-leaning Wall Street Journal, which has seen its circulation rise. More than twice as many people read the WSJ as the NY Times.

It’s clear through the marketplace that individuals increasingly don’t perceive any value being added by the newspaper to their lives or community. They are voting with their pocketbook. The market is clearly signalling that the majority of the voting public places little value on their local daily newspaper.

So the next time a politician or flack worries excessively about what the newspapers write, ask them who they represent: the taxpayers or the newspapers.

With taxpayers cancelling their subscriptions to the local daily (and so few citizens reading it), the newspapers — it would appear — are increasingly only talking to themselves and easily excitably politicians.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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