New figures show strength of regional news media
THE power of regional media in connecting strongly with their communities has been highlighted with the release of new readership figures.
News Regional Media, publisher of this website, now connects with a total audience of 3.5 million people every month across its 18 daily titles around Australia.
Editorial director Bryce Johns said strong growth in the digital audience, combined with solid loyalty among print readers, had meant titles right along the Queensland coast and down to NSW had shown audience growth.
"We have more journalists on the ground in our patches than anyone so when locals need to know, they come to us.''
The Fraser Coast Chronicle, for example, has grown in net paid sales (Monday to Saturday average) by 11.6%, according to the latest figures, one of the highest growth rates in the country.
Rockhampton's Morning Bulletin is up 5.1%, Gladstone Observer up 6.8%, Bundaberg News-Mail 7.5%, Gympie Times 4.6%, Sunshine Coast Daily 5.5%, Queensland Times 4.6% and The Chronicle (Toowoomba) 5.3%.
The Daily Mercury in Mackay is up 1.2%, Warwick Daily News up 3.1%, the Northern Star in Lismore up 0.1% and Daily Examiner in Grafton 2.3%.
The figures come on top of the release of online figures for the group showing an all-time record month for online readership with more than 4 million unique visitors and more than 21 million page views across more than 40 websites, both daily and non-daily.
Group digital editor Mark Furler said thousands had signed up to become digital subscribers, highlighting the importance of local news to local communities.
"Our journalists work around the clock to ensure major events are covered better than anyone else."
"Online subscribers are learning of breaking news before anyone through breaking news alerts, morning and afternoon newsletters while they can follow topics of special interest to them by clicking on topic tags on the story and subscribing to alerts on that subject.
"Our app also allows subscribers to read a digital copy of the newspaper, on their phone or tablet, each day."
Mr Johns said News Regional Media was committed to giving readers news when they wanted it, on whatever platform they preferred.
"Our weekend print editions are providing a great laidback reading experience, often looking at the bigger local issues of the week."
Below figures are based on weekly industry readership monitoring from the Emma data team, plus internal analysis of digital numbers.