Newspaper numbers decrease as readership increases -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Newspaper numbers decrease as readership increases

KARACHI: According to a recent study on the print media, the number of newspapers and periodicals has decreased rapidly but circulation in the country doubled from 1997 to 2006.

According to the survey, conducted by the Statistical Department of Pakistan over a period of ten years, there were 4,455 newspapers and periodicals in all languages spoken in the country in 1997, but this went down to 1,464 by 2006, indicating the closure of 2,991 publications. On the other hand, 3,912,301 newspapers in all languages were in circulation in 1997 and their number increased to 8,208,874 by 2006.

The study further revealed that in 1997, the number of Urdu newspapers and periodicals was 4,000 but this decreased to 1,236 by 2006. The year 2002 was the worst in terms of number of newspapers in the country, with only 497 papers throughout the country. Of the 368 English newspapers and periodicals in 1997, only 133 remained by 2006.

There were 44 Sindhi newspapers and periodicals throughout the country in 1997 and by 2005 the number had increased to 80. However, by 2006, only 35 Sindhi newspapers remained. There were no Punjabi newspapers in the country till 1997 but in the span of a year, 18 Punjabi newspapers surfaced. This number was, however, reduced to only five by 2006.

Compared to 20 newspapers in 1997, the number of Pushto newspapers and periodicals increased, with 34 newspapers in the country by 2006. Balochi newspapers also increased form two in 1997 to eight newspapers and periodicals in the country by 2006.

No Seraiki newspaper or periodical was present till 1997, but by 2005, five Seraiki newspapers had started. However, only one newspaper remained by 2006. Three Gujrati newspapers and periodicals were present in 1997. This number increased to 15 by 2005 but fell back to three in 2006.

In the Punjab, 3,428 Urdu and 268 English newspapers and periodicals were being printed in 1997. There has been a steady decline in the numbers since, with 268 Urdu and 40 English newspapers remaining in the province by 2006. In Sindh, of the 218 Urdu, 88 English and 44 Sindhi newspapers being printed in 1997, only 28 Urdu, 45 English and 35 Sindhi newspapers remained till 2006.

In NWFP, 333 Urdu, 17 English and 19 Pushto newspapers and periodicals were being printed in 1997 which increased to 677 Urdu, 26 English and 25 Pushto newspapers by 2006. In Balochistan, 21 Urdu and one Balochi newspaper were being printed in 1997, with two English newspapers started in 1998. By 2006, however, 263 Urdu, eight Balochi, eight Pushto and 22 English newspapers and periodicals were being printed.

According to the report, the average circulation, in 1997, of Urdu dailies was 3,017,310, weeklies 5,80,380, fortnightly 65,117, monthlies 8,59,470 and quarterlies 13,691. By 2006, average circulation of Urdu dailies was 6,472,510, weeklies 5,20,710, fortnightlies 79,370, monthlies 1,471,651 and quarterlies 15,973.

In 1997, the average circulation of English dailies was 485,073, weeklies 78,494, fortnightlies 11,615, monthlies 97,450 and quarterlies 1,589. By 2006, 905,755 English dailies were in circulation, along with 96,852 weeklies, 16,997 fortnightlies, 31,698 monthlies and 8,700 quarterlies.

Average circulation of Sindhi dailies in 1997 was 351,868, weeklies 37,217, fortnightlies 12,202, monthlies 43,632 and quarterlies 723. This increased to 688,200 dailies, 46,870 weeklies, 13,520 fortnightlies and 96,200 monthlies by 2006.

The number of Punjabi Dailies in circulation in 1997 was 7,223, along with 1,674 weeklies and 5860 monthlies. By 2006, the number of Punjabi dailies decreased to 6,700.

In 1997, 30,578 Pushto dailies, 823 Weeklies and 1,552 monthlies were in circulation, which increased to 54,700 dailies, 7,592 weeklies and 2,570 monthlies by 2006. The average circulation of Gujrati dailies in 1997 was 20,249 but was reduced to 18,750 by 2006.
Source: Daily Times