With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to wreak havoc on the indigenous media industry, the Dublin-based media intelligence company Truehawk Media has recorded a 34% drop in the number of articles published in domestic Irish newspapers across national daily, Sunday, and regional or local categories when comparing similar weekly periods in 2020 versus 2019.
The media monitoring and analysis company tracks all articles printed in newspaper titles as well as monitoring news and current affairs across radio, TV, online news, blogs, forums, social media platforms, and other print media such as magazines and journals.
While the overall reduction of articles published in the periods examined since Covid-19 restrictions were sanctioned was 34% compared to the previous year, with national daily and Sunday titles down by roughly a quarter, the greatest drops are evident in regional press. That deficit is increasing as regional or local publishing was down 47% last week (May 18th– 24th) when compared to a similar week in 2019 (May 20th – 26th).
In order to assess the direct impact of Covid-19, a number of control weeks were assessed including the week beginning February 10th 2020, just following the recent general election. Based on the number of articles printed, the volume of newspaper articles published is down this year by 11.5% within the large set of titles analysed here. However, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated that decline.
“The cancellation or postponement of so many sports and cultural events has had an obvious impact across all publications,” said Truehawk Media CEO Derek Finnegan. “We have also seen a number of local regional titles pause, consolidate or cease production which has led to a 7% drop in the number of publications printed in that category.”
“This analysis highlights the worrying impact that the coronavirus had had on Irish media and specifically in relation to newspapers,” adds Shannon Rushe, sales & marketing director. “While we have seen online news media and digital versions of Irish print titles increase their output in general this year, our media analysis reveals the obvious challenge that lies ahead for press media. Less pages indicates less advertising copy overall and we are concerned that the variety and independence of our newspaper industry may be threatened if sufficient funding models are not revived or created. Print journalists, print media professionals, and the newspapers they work for play a vital role in our lives and communities which has been highlighted even more during this crisis.”