JNRS figures show 80% of adults regularly read a paper
EIGHTY PER cent of adults are regular newspaper readers, a 2 per cent decline on the same period last year, according to the latest Joint National Readership Survey figures.
The JNRS’s 2011-12 report shows that 2.88 million adults here read a newspaper regularly between June 2011 and May 2012.
This compared with 2.94 million in the previous year, which represented 82 per cent of the population.
The Irish Times had an average daily readership of 287,000 in the 2011-12 report. This was down 37,000, or 11 per cent, on the previous year. These readership figures do not include visitors to the Irish Times website.
The Irish Independent recorded a decline in readership of 35,000 or 7 per cent to 465,000, while readership for the Irish Examiner remained the same at 169,000.
Among other daily newspapers, the Irish Daily Star recorded a readership of 348,000, down 24,000 or 6 per cent, while the Irish Mirror’s readership was up slightly by 1,000 to 208,000.
Two daily newspapers recorded more significant gains. The Irish Sun had a readership of 297,000, up 21,000 or 8 per cent, while the Irish Daily Mail recorded a readership of 159,000, up 18,000 or 13 per cent.
The Irish Times had an ABC1 profile – a key demographic for advertisers – of 80 per cent. This compared with 53 per cent at the Irish Independent and 42 per cent at the Irish Examiner.
While readership for the main section of The Irish Times was down, readership for the newspaper’s supplements remained broadly the same or grew slightly, such as the newspaper’s Saturday Magazine (367,000), Healthplus (273,000) and the Ticket (234,000).
Overall, just under half of adults – 49 per cent, or 1,774,000 people – read a daily title, according to JNRS figures.
A total of 59 per cent, or 2,118,000 people, read a Sunday title. This represented a decline of 8 per cent compared to the previous year, possibly due to the closure of the News of the World.
Overall, the National Newspapers of Ireland said the latest figures showed that newspaper readership remained strong, despite factors such as the recession and proliferation of other media.
“As an industry I would say we are encouraged but not surprised by the findings of the latest JNRS,” said NNI’s Frank Cullen said.
“Newspapers invest more in journalism than any other medium so it’s natural that more people come to us when they are looking for high quality, original news content.”
He added that readership among young people was impressive, with almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of 19- to 24-year-olds regularly reading a print title.
Mr Cullen said figures also showed people were dedicating more time to reading newspapers, with one in five readers spending more than six hours a week reading their papers.
Among the Sunday newspapers, most titles recorded a decline.
The Sunday Independent had a readership of 914,000, down 57,999 or 5.9 per cent, while the Sunday Times saw its readership decline by 33,000 or 8.2 per cent, to 367,000.
The Sunday Business Post’s readership fell by 2,000 to 162,000, while the Sunday World posted a small decline of 5,000, or less than 1 per cent, to 802,000.
The Irish Sunday Mirror recorded a significant readership increase of 13,000, or 8.9 per cent, to 195,000.
In addition, the Irish Mail on Sunday readership rose by 15,000 readers, up 5 per cent, to 345,000 readers.
* This article was amended on August 10th, 2012 to correct a factual error.