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The contribution of free dailies and news on the web: implications of media structural changes for the Swedish newspaper readership market

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The decline in reading the morning papers has been considered a problem in modern countries in recent decades. In particular, it is young people who are abandoning the paid morning paper. During the same period, new forms of newspapers such as free dailies and online news have developed. The purpose of this article, in which we take different types of newspapers into consideration, is to analyse the development of readership among Swedes in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The data analysed have been collected through postal surveys of 6000 people each year since 2000. When we add new forms of newspapers to the traditional ones, the readership level is very stable even among young people. Readership is still decreasing, but not to the same extent as when only traditional papers are measured. It can be difficult to determine, however, what should be considered a newspaper in the twenty-first century. Evening tabloids online are not the same with regard to content and function as local morning papers.

Keywords: free dailies; newspapers; online news; readership; young readers

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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  • Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook was first published in 2002 and places particular emphasis on film, television and new media. The yearbook, although carrying a theme each issue, welcomes a broad range of articles along with shorter review pieces.
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