Japanese Newspapers

These days it’s not uncommon for people to get all their news from the internet, and for absolutely nothing. Needless to say, this whole ‘free news’ malarkey has proved disastrous for the newspaper industry. Many papers, such as the New York Times, initially required users to pay for online content, but as more rival sites became free such revenue models were abandoned. Some thought that advertising would help plug the gap, yet so far online advertising has proved far less lucrative than its paper-based counterpart.

While Japanese newspapers have also suffered from declining sales, they remain absolutely vast, in terms of both circulation and reach, when compared to their foreign cousins. The following diagram is my attempt at shedding some light on the scale of the big three Japanese dailies: the Yomiuri, Asahi and Mainichi “Shimbuns”. (Click the image to expand.)

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2 Comments

  1. Rob

    Instead of posting japan’s newspaper circulation figures which are in my opinion pointless(no offense).

    The post would be much more informative if listed what is japan’s rank in journalism reporting itself and whether their position has increased or decrease compared to other countries.

    • Rob,
      That would be a great idea, though I’m not sure what kind of objective yardstick could be used for measuring journalistic importance/influence. Google Trends can give a good indication of the global, and regional, popularity of news websites (see here).

      By website popularity, nytimes.com is the clear winner globally, but at a regional level the picture is different: readership tends to fall along linguistic and cultural lines. I think a lot of journalists have great respect for the NY Times (and for good reason), but it certainly doesn’t show in much of the nonsense that Daily Mail hacks spew out on a regular basis! Sadly, quality doesn’t always equal high readership, and high online readership doesn’t necessarily equal high overall advertising revenue – at least not until online advertising catches up with print.