A publication of the World Editors Forum


Fri - 22.09.2017

Despite industry problems, Japanese print readership remains high

Despite industry problems, Japanese print readership remains high

Amidst serious industry turmoil, Japan has somehow managed to avoid the looming problems that print media faces all over the rest of the world. The Japan Times reports a study done by the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association that details the way in which the Japanese receive media. Surprisingly, the study reported that the most popular way of receiving news is print newspaper. The survey, which included 4,100 people nationwide, "confirmed that newspapers are a key medium indispensable in daily life," said a member of the Association. Moreover, the survey reports that its figures are not significantly different from a similar poll the Association conducted two years earlier.

While print publications all over the world scramble to find ways to maintain readership in an increasingly digitized world, the results of this study come as a surprise. Not only are Japanese readers receiving their news from printed sources, it appears that the overall trends in Japanese readership have not changed significantly in the past two years. The study also reports that "of the five kinds of media- newspapers, TV, radio, magazine and the Internet- newspapers came out on top in terms of respondents' impression and evaluation" with 52.6 percent of polltakers saying that newspapers help them understand their communities.

As many other world publications are being forced to re-evaluate and innovate the way they communicate news, it is particularly stunning that Japan, a country so frequently associated with high-tech innovation, would not run into the same problems. Maybe it's the quality of their publications, maybe it has something to do with the ethos of their society, or, heck, maybe its something in the water; but Japanese print publications are definitely doing something right (although they too have had their snags).

The study also reports 50.2 percent of those polled called newspapers "indispensable." Clearly, print publications all over the world would be well advised to take note of Japanese publications. Japanese newspapers have somehow been able to integrate themselves into society to the point that their "indispensability" has given them perpetual readership, even as online media threatens to unravel the print industry.

Although major print publications have searched everything from the paywall to Steve Jobs' imagination for a solution to the media's woes, apparently they need look no further than an island in the Pacific.

Source: The Japan Times



Carole Wurzelbacher


2010-06-09 13:45

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