The steep decline of both reader circulation and advertising revenues are the drivers of the destabilization of the US newspaper Industry. This study from the Pew Research Center in 2017 graphically reveals these disturbing trends.
The data shows that the steep circulation volume decline has been accompanied by modest increases in total circulation revenue, which we can assume has a lot to do with consistent price increases.
The disturbing implications of these trends which directly threaten American democracy include:
- consolidation of newspaper ownership in the hands of a small number of holding companies funded by wealthy investors and institutions,
- shuttering of newspapers across America resulting in news deserts and droughts,
- deep cuts in newsroom reporters, editors, and original content at the papers that remain,
- reduced trust in news media and institutions in general, and
- reduced Citizen civic engagement.