Americans rarely read!
Conjecture, yes, but what else could explain this?


I don't think it can be blamed on the penetration of the internet, as those nations top of the list, such as South Korea, Japan, and EU's, are ahead of the US in internet availability, and especially so as a percentage of their population.
What's interesting though is that the above are nations with high literacy rates, and, rather tellingly, when considering a nation with a high illiteracy rate, namely india, the first newspaper on the list is one from Kerala, which is the Indian state with the highest literacy rate.
The British, on the other hand, seem to have a big appetite for the tabloids, but still, their more serious newspapers equal the American ones in circulation despite having a muchsmaller population.
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Americans rarely read! Conjecture, yes, but what else could explain this? I don't think it can be blamed on ... Japan, and EU's, are ahead of the US in internet availability, and especially so as a percentage of their population.

No, but it possibly can be blamed on cable TV. With many if not most Americans now having permanent access to at least two 24-hour news channels (CNN and Fox News), the fall in newspaper circulation is not at all surprising. The penetration of multi-channel TV, including all-news channels, is nowhere near as great in European countries.

If you looked at sales of popular paperback fiction (crime and romance novels, blockbuster thrillers, etc.), on the other hand, I think you'd probably find the US right at the top of the list, so I don't think the blunt conclusion that "Americans must read less" is not one that can safely be drawn from this research alone.
Finally, the local idiosyncracy in the US of a dozen or so very strong regional daily newspapers but next to no national ones (only USA Today, a relatively recent arrival, and the Wall Street Journal, which focuses largely on business rather than being targeted at a general readership) must also significantly skew this data.

Ross Howard
Americans rarely read! Conjecture, yes, but what else could explain this?

That might suggest that "Americans don't buy newspapers" but extending that (as in hour header) to "they don't read" suggests that you define "reading" by "newspaper circulation".
Only journalists would flatter themselves with that equation; there's a heap more "reading" goes on apart from just newspapers.

Cheers, Harvey
Canada for 30 years; S England since 1982.
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Americans rarely read! Conjecture, yes, but what else could explain this?

I find that site interesting in a number of ways. In particular, food for thought is provided by the fact that the Los Angeles Times has 1,067,540 readers. while the Chicago Tribune, the owner of the Los Angeles Times, has 673,508.
It's also interesting to see that the New York Times has only about 1,000 fewer readers than the Los Angeles Times.

(Interesting comments omitted.)
While I find the original poster's comments interesting, I don't see how "Americans rarely read!" can be explained by a tabulation of newspaper-circulation numbers.
I'm sure there are many avid readers of books and magazines who have no interest in newspapers, preferring to get their news, editorial comment, and debate by experts on issues of the day from television.
Ross Howard skrev i meddelelsen
No, but it possibly can be blamed on cable TV. With many if not most Americans now having permanent access ... not at all surprising. The penetration of multi-channel TV, including all-news channels, is nowhere near as great in European countries.

Where do you get that idea ?
There are LOTS of news channels over here - e.g. I can currently view the German n-tv channel and BBC World, which are 24 hour news channels and if I wanted to pay for it I could see CNN, which is carried by the local cable.
If I desired I could tap into over a thousand sattelite channels of which several are also news channels.
One could also discuss whether Fox News with their alternative interpretation of the terms "fair and unbiased" is really a news channel or not.
In any case I think a great many Europeans have much better access to foreign channels than most USAmericans.

Carl Alex Friis Nielsen
Love Me - take me as I think I am
If you looked at sales of popular paperback fiction (crime and romance novels, blockbuster thrillers, etc.), on the other hand, ... the blunt conclusion that "Americans must read less" is not one that can safely be drawn from this research alone.

If the charge is true, it makes me wonder why there are so many mega-bookstores being opened all of the place here. There's a Book-A-Million, two Borders, and one Barnes & Noble within five miles of my house.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
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I find that site interesting in a number of ways. In particular, food for thought is provided by the fact that the Los Angeles Times has 1,067,540 readers. while the Chicago Tribune, the owner of the Los Angeles Times, has 673,508.

I don't know the situation in LA, but Chicago has two major newspapers: the Tribune and the Sun-Times.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
I don't think it can be blamed on the penetration ... availability, and especially so as a percentage of their population.

No, but it possibly can be blamed on cable TV. With many if not most Americans now having permanent access ... not at all surprising. The penetration of multi-channel TV, including all-news channels, is nowhere near as great in European countries.

Not sure how this fits in, if at all, but there's been a substantial reduction in newspaper competition over the past several decades in the US, particularly over the past 20 years. A town like New York (LCIA), for example, once had lots of major newspapers (such as the late Brooklyn Eagle ); now it is unusual in having as many as three significant daily newspapers. Most cities are
lucky if they have two (e.g. Chicago). In some cases, one company owns the two 'competing' newspapers for a locality isn't that the case in Detroit? In some other cities, including Seattle, you have a weird situation where you have two "competing" newspapers that are run, businesswise, by a joint enterprise formed by the two competing companies. Bizarre, but it all has to do with newspapers being decreasingly profitable.
If you looked at sales of popular paperback fiction (crime and romance novels, blockbuster thrillers, etc.), on the other hand, I think you'd probably find the US right at the top of the list,

Ra-THER. Look at all those people reading The Da Vinci Code (NTTAWWT).
Finally, the local idiosyncracy in the US of a dozen or so very strong regional daily newspapers but next to ... Journal, which focuses largely on business rather than being targeted at a general readership) must also significantly skew this data.

I'd say there's way less than a dozen "very strong" non-national newspapers. There's the New York Times, the Washington Post, and that's about it. These two are, in effect, national newspapers of a sort. Everything else is "kreeap", as they say in Chicago. USA Today is strictly for people who don't know how to read (NTTAWWTE).
Americans rarely read! Conjecture, yes, but what else could explain this?

I find that site interesting in a number of ways. In particular, food for thought is provided by the fact ... original poster's comments interesting, I don't see how "Americans rarely read!" can be explained by a tabulation of newspaper-circulation numbers.

I'm experimenting with hyperbole to demonstrate to some in this newsgroup how annoying it can be. I would've phrased it as "all you Americans... All you ever do...", but, sigh, nevermind!
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