The twice-annual Canadian newspaper survey, the National Audience Databank (NADBank for short), arrived this week. It measures readership of newspapers across the country. Not to be confused with the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), which measures actual distribution of paid and free copies of papers, NADBank surveys people on how often they're read a paper or its online site lately. Canadian advertisers prefer to know readership numbers because they tell more about reader behaviour --- how often they read, how long they read, who exactly does read --- instead of simply that a paper was bought or given away.
For those who herald the death of newspapers, bad news: Canadian newspaper readership is actually pretty stable at 11.7 million people a week (it was 11.8 million last year). The data on online usage feels a little light, because data I've seen suggests strong growth in online newspapers the last year or two.
For those who think urbanites are turning to the Web, more bad news: the largest 17 markets are stable and the largest five are quite stable.
The total weekly reach of print and online newspapers is about 78 per cent.
Which is not to say there aren't significant changes in the newspaper industry, just that the freefalling U.S. advertising and circulation conditions aren't taking hold here.
Here is our story on the Vancouver situation. Here is a Media in Canada report on the national newspaper war.