Good news for print media … in Latin America

The newspaper business, drained of readers and revenue and hounded by new online media in much of North America and Europe, is thriving in Latin America, a global trade group said on Thursday.

“Forget these prophets who say that all newspapers are doomed,” said Christoph Riess, the head of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), which is holding a regional conference in Bogotá.

Overall circulation has increased 5,1%, from 13-million to 14,1-million readers between 2005 and 2009, while in Europe it has dropped 7,9%, the group said.

Newspaper revenue in Latin America has leaped 65% during that period, as it has plummeted by 33,1% in North America and 13,9% in Europe.

Riess said the region was ripe for further growth, given its overall positive economic outlook, stable circulation revenues and the growth of the mobile market, which could provide opportunities for paid content.

“Latin America should not just relax and say, ‘It’s never going to get here’,” Riess was quoted as saying on the WAN-IFRA website.

“But you have more time in Latin America to prepare for digital changes, and this is an opportunity to learn from the good and bad experiences from other regions.”

The Europe-based WAN-IFRA represents more than 18 000 publications, 15 000 online sites and over 3 000 companies in more than 120 countries. — AFP

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