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Media Facts   Advantages   Disadvantages   Plus Radio   Glossary of Terms


Reach: Large percentages of adults don’t read any newspaper each day, especially among younger demographics. Even among readers, people rarely go through all the sections of the newspaper.

Quality: Despite printing improvement over the years, newspaper ad reproduction isn’t a match for magazines or online displays.

Clutter: Same-page ad clutter is an issue for all but the largest advertisers (those purchasing ½-page of full-page displays). Ads placed next to a competitor’s may only be an advantage if price is absolutely the lowest.

Passivity: Print newspapers provide only visual information. Newspaper ads are non-intrusive, appeal primarily to consumers who are seeking them out.

Timeliness: Newspaper coverage of news events lags behind TV, Cable, radio, Internet. Readers may seek out more in-depth reporting from the paper, but get breaking news from electronic and digital sources today. Social networks such as Twitter, BuzzFeed also afford quick access to stories.

Declining Distribution: Newspaper circulations, especially on weekdays, are in steep decline.

Demographics: Newspapers’ audience skew is 35+, with emphasis on 55+.

Coverage: The metro market reach of the typical major market daily newspaper is only about half of what it was 25-30 years ago.

Digital Ads: Newspaper websites to date have not been able to exploit the availability of video commercials on the digital platforms. There is controversy regarding how consumers “view” digital ads on all platforms that must be resolved.

Measurement: Circulation, not readership, was newspapers’ sales currency for many years. As the medium attempts to shift to readership data, audience surveys currently available rarely provide issue-specific data or readership estimates by page or section of the paper.

Media Buying Limitations: GRP or media weight factoring is a challenge due to wide variations in market-to-market coverage and circulation. In many cities there is only one major newspaper available.