Newspapers are still the most widely read source of news in the United States, but the business model for many has shifted dramatically in recent years. The latest numbers on circulation and revenue indicate that the industry is struggling to adapt as readers migrate away from print to digital platforms. This fact sheet explores some of the trends and patterns that have emerged as newspapers struggle to adapt.
A daily newspaper is a periodical that contains a collection of current news stories and events, and often also includes editorials and other insights. It is normally printed on paper, usually with black ink, and is delivered to people in the form of a folded magazine.
The most widely read newspaper in the United States is the New York Times, which has a daily circulation of about 2 million. Other well-read dailies include The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, both of which have a daily circulation of more than a million.
A typical daily newspaper consists of a number of sections, such as national and international news; local and community news; sports; entertainment and amusements; classified advertisements; and opinion and commentary. Editorials are typically placed in the first section of a newspaper and may cover topics such as politics, crime, religion, and public affairs.
Newspapers also have historically provided the most important source of information on the economy and the government for the general public, as well as a way to keep citizens informed about local issues that affect them. In 2022, the estimated total U.S. newspaper circulation was 20.9 million in both weekday and Sunday editions – down 8% and 10% respectively from the previous year.
The story of a declining newspaper is familiar to many Americans, but the societal impact remains underappreciated. Andrew Conte’s Death of the Daily News is a searching and deeply reported look at what happens when a local news media fails in a community, and the consequences that follow. This is a book that deserves wide readership.