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More People Read Newspapers Worldwide Than Use Web

More people read newspapers worldwide than ever before thanks to online – but publishers have yet to find ways to match readership growth with revenue.

This was the key finding of the World Association of Newspapers World Press Trends report issued this week. According to the data, more than half the world’s adult population read a newspaper: more than 2.5 billion in print and more than 600 million in digital form.

That represents more readers and users than total global users of the internet, WAN said. “The facts are hard to dismiss: newspapers are pervasive, they are part of the fabric of our societies.

Our industry is stronger than many imagine,” said WAN’s Larry Kilman. “At the same time, newspapers are changing, and must change, if they are to continue fulfilling their traditional role as watchdog, and as the provider of credible news and information that citizens need to make informed decisions in society.

"The problem is not one of audience. We have the audience. The hallenge is largely one of business, of finding successful business models for the digital age.”

Newspaper print circulations continue to rise strongly in Asia and the Middle East, offsetting declines in print circulation in Europe, North America and Latin America. Global circulation increased by 1.1 per cent between 2010 and 2011, according to the World Press Trends update.

At the same time, newspaper advertising revenues have been declining as revenues lost in print have not been replaced by digital advertising. The study found that this decline correlates with a lack of “intensity” when it comes to digital news reading – digital news consumers spend less time and visit fewer pages on digital platforms than they do in print.

This lack of intensity is reflected in newspapers’ share of digital revenues. Newspapers in many markets are taking steps to correct this by finding ways to increase usage online.

“This is an area where publishers can lay the groundwork for increasing revenues from digital – finding ways to increase the intensity of the user experience is at the base of increasing revenues,” Kilman said.

Newspaper paid-for circulation increased by 1.1 per cent globally in 2011 compared with 2010, to 512 million. The global newspaper audience has grown by 4.2 per cent since 2007.

Scandinavian and Alpine countries continue to have the highest readership of newspapers per capita, with South Korea and Hong Kong rising to top-ten positions. The top countries for newspaper readership are among those with the highest broadband penetration rates.

Print continues to provide the vast majority of newspaper company revenues, with circulation alone accounting for nearly half of all revenues. Newspapers are a $200 billion annual industry worldwide.

By Dominic Ponsford

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Minutes of the teleconference meeting of the Executive Board held 10.00am (London time), Monday -16 July 2012

Minutes of the teleconference meeting of the Executive Board held 10.00am (London time), Monday -16 July 2012.

Present : Mr Jerry Wright – President – in the Chair
Mr Hormuzd Masani – Treasurer
Mr George Bohlander
Mr Pedro Silva
Ms Iwona Szczesna
Mr Eusebio Serrano
Mr Paul Dovas

Absent : Mr Silviu Ispas

In Attendance : Mr J Matthews representing
Macomm Management Services
Secretaries to the Federation


The minutes of the teleconference meeting held 18 June 2012 having been circulated, were taken as read and confirmed.


2.1 IFABC Workplan 2010-2012

2.1.1 Role of IFABC /Industry Advocacy

a. External Communications – Chairman reported that he had spoken to the PR agency on the additional budget for the issuing of media releases plus covering 3 pieces of activities till the end of the year. The agency had quoted € 3000-00 for the exercise. He said that it was a cut back from the original cost and felt that it was a reasonable cost. The first release on the launch of the IFABC website was being prepared. There will be another three more releases. In response to a question, Chairman said that the agency would not be asked to proof read the website due to additional cost, but that he would do it himself.

Mr George Bohlander referred to Mr Pedro Silva’s original plan for external communications and asked whether all items had been covered or whether more budget would have to be allocated for communications. Mr Silva and Chairman said that most of the key items had been covered. The releases would cover the launch of the website, the hybrid paper, and the proceedings of the GA. Chairman said that the release would be send to all Members for distribution to their member publications and the PR agency would release it to the global media identified in their proposal.

b. IFABC Logo – Chairman said that after the briefing the agency had provided a first set of ideas and designs. These had been run by Mr George Bohlander and himself. The agency had now provided a new set of ideas and designs and these have been forwarded to all Executive Board Members. He asked Members to run through the proposal. The proposal had identified IFABC as:

• emotional territory – as an ‘expert’ and ‘leading’ and as giving the industry some direction

• brand archetypes – as a Ruler and a Sage

• brand essence/strapline – ‘promoting excellence in media accountability’; ‘promoting excellence in global media accountability’; ‘promoting global media accountability’ and ‘global media accountability’

The brand identity considerations were also discussed. Members went through the 9 creative designs provided. Chairman said that it was a major decision to make and asked Members to consider the proposals and to submit their thoughts before the weekend. Members felt that it was a good step forward. Mr George Bohlander said that the strapline ‘promoting global media accountability’ sounded too much like ‘advertising’. Chairman requested Members to consider the strapline too.

c. Promote the growth of bureaux in new geographies – in the absence of Mr Silviu Ispas there was no report. Mr Paul Dovas spoke of ABC New Zealand getting in touch with him and hopefully they will come back to the IFABC fold.

2.1.2 Knowledge Sharing/Business Development

a. Central knowledge store - Ms Iwona Szczesna said that the updated data on national newspapers had been uploaded on the website. She added that she was waiting for 10 more Members (Austria, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Singapore, Taipei) to update the 2011 data. Meanwhile Members had been requested to submit the data for Regional Newspapers. Chairman said that the collection of the data was marking the history and was a valuable achievement. He thanked Ms Szczesna for the effort. She emphasized the role played by the Secretaries in the project.

b. Improve internal communications – Website – Chairman said that the new website looked good and it was time to inform the Members. Mr Paul Dovas said that he will help the Secretaries to develop a notification to the Members. He said that he could also develop a video/pdf document on how to navigate the website for Members information. He also asked Members to provide their news feeds.

Mr George Bohlander said that he looked at the definition of print terms in the website and compared that with the chapter in the book “How to start a Bureau’ and would send Members his proposal. Mr Paul Dovas said that he could make the changes easily. Mr Paul Dovas said that he would like to propose some responsibilities to the Members:

- Ms Iwona Szczesna – to be in charge of the Central knowledge store
- Mr Richard Foan – web metrics
- Mr Glenn Hansen – Digital Publishing
- Mr Liviu Burlacu – the book “How to set up a Bureau”

This was agreed.

2.1.3 Digital Standards and Measurement

a. ‘Hybrid’ Online Audience Measurement paper – Chairman said that he had circulated the paper prepared by the consultant to the Executive Members and there a number of views. He proposed that a committee comprising Mr Richard Foan, Mr George Bohlander, Mr Manuel Salas and Mr Paul Dovas work together with the consultant on the subject. This was agreed. The next stage of the project was to build the questionnaire and how to move forward.

b. Future of ABC – A view to 2015 – chairman said that the work was progressing well. A couple of areas required to be completed including interviewing some more advertisers and agencies from Australia, Hong Kong and Brazil. He added that India would be a useful area and sought Treasurer’s assistance in the matter. He said that he had written to Members to seek case studies of new business opportunities ventured into by Members such as Events/Australia; Digital signage/Spain; Web Audits/Brazil; Digital audits/UK; Digital rate card/Sweden etc.

2.1.4 Governance and Finance

a. 25thGeneral Assembly

(i) Chairman said that the Secretaries had expressed concern on the items – Country Reports and Print Audit – review of IFABC country status – as time may be consumed during the discussion of these items. Discussion ensued and it was felt that for the Country Reports – a printed copy of the Bureau Activity Report could be tabled – and for the print audit sessions , perhaps the information could be summarized from the Bureau activity report. The Secretaries said that they will circulate the samples of reports received so far to the Executive Board.

(ii) Quorum – The Secretaries said that the quorum for the General Meeting was 12 Members present or by proxies. They said that the IAA World Congress scheduled for September in Vienna had been cancelled due to a variety of reasons. Members were confident of attaining a quorum. Mr Eusebio Serrano said that 7 bureaux had registered todate.

(iii) 50th Anniversary – Mr Eusebio Serrano said that he had contacted Ms Christel Plöger and Mr Michael Lavery for memories, momentos, photos etc. Ms Plöger had said that she had no records. Chairman said that he would check the archive at ABC UK.

b. Finance – Treasurer reported on the following:

(i) Annual membership fee for 2012 – despite 5 reminders Mexico was still outstanding. It was agreed that if the subscription was not received before the next meetingof the Executive Board (13 August) the Bureau will be suspended

(ii) Balance in HSBC Bank, Singapore - €94,260-73

(iii) The following were approved for payment:-

- Howell Penny – Invoice 5723-0 towards development of a new brand identity for IFABC amounting to £2,400 being 50% advance

- Wingman Consulting Ltd – Invoice No 150 for Hybrid Online Audience Measurement amounting to £2,835-00. It was noted that the budget for the project was €5,000.00. It was agreed that Mr Richard Foan, Mr George Bohlander, Mr Manuel Salas and Mr Paul Dovas will define the next stage with the consultant.

(iv) Trends of expenses incurred by IFABC from 2006 to 2012 – Treasurer reported that there was justification for the higher budgetary expectations with multifarious activities for Members benefit which would result in an approximate 30% increase in Membership fees for 2013. He said that Executive Board Members had felt that the proposal was high. He took the Committee through the expenses incurred by the IFABC through the period 2006 – 2011 and the budget for 2012. Ms Iwona Szczesna said that there was a need to have the budgets for 2013 and 2014 so that Members were aware of what the Executive Committee was planning to do and propose a reasonable increase. Chairman said that the expenditure historically amounted approximately to €40,000. In 2012 there was a large increase due to a number of one-off activities including – revamping the website, PR, consultancies on the hybrid paper and the future of ABC to 2015 etc. He suggested that the expenses for 2013 be budgeted at €50,000 which would also include PR expenses and a budget be modeled based on that assumption. Historically the subscriptions amounted to roughly €40,000. There was a need to increase the income by 25% to achieve a break even situation. Chairman said that if the normal level of expenditure was €50,000, was there a possibility of increasing the membership fees by 5% per year over 3 years, and meet the budgetary expectations. Chairman said that IFABC had reasonable reserves which could be used to tide over for a few years. On an on-going basis a reserve of €50,000, or c. one year’s costs, would be prudent, which is lower than the current level. He asked the Treasurer to consider what level of increase would be required over a period of time to reach that position. Treasurer was requested to consider the budgets for the next two years and propose a new model. Treasurer said that the basis of the fee was supposed to move from circulation to income levels but sadly there was insufficient data so far received. He added that he would study the matter and revert to the Executive Board.

3. NEXT MEETING – the next meeting of the Executive Board will be held 13 August 2012.


4.1 B& H – The Secretaries said that they had sent an email to ABC B&H, who were currently an Affiliate Member, to apply for upgrading to Full Membership.

4.2 Event Audits – Mr Paul Dovas said that he was proposing that a sub-committee on IFABC Standards for Event Audits be formed. He said that BPA was also proposing the same. Chairman said that the matter could be tabled at the GA for members to consider as was done for Digital Publications.


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