It seems the News Corp sheets have a diminishing ability to influence elections. They are simply lecturing to the same ageing, welded-on conservatives and reactionaries, so the “conversion factor” is nil.
Tiffen goes through the data, which is sobering. Last year the total circulation of all Australian daily newspapers was about 2.1 million, one million lower than 15 years ago.
In the past 18 years the “penetration” rate of newspapers has declined to such an extent that Moloch papers, with roughly a 60 per cent share of daily newspaper circulation, are now bought by a gritty hardcore of 4 per cent of the Australian population.
Apart from that, Essential Research has discovered that about half the readers of the Moloch tabs don’t trust what they’re reading.
The ability to influence, because of the uptake of tabloid content by the radio shock jocks, is also limited. Again the elderly listeners are a similar demographic to the readers of these jaunty sheets.
As Tiffen puts it: “Together, the two media form a self-aggrandising and self-referential noise machine, and their volume and bluster should not be mistaken for outreach.”
When it comes to web readership the picture is even grimmer because, of all the newsprint products, tabloids are the most challenged by the digital revolution, with the exception of Britain’s Daily Mail.
Difficult as it is to believe, Tiffen says most visits to The Daily Smellograph’s website are “fleeting”, often only 30 seconds or less, with much less “political impact”.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Sort of encouraging
Richard Ackland's Gadfly column in today's Saturday Paper summaries an article by academic Rod Tiffin a few weeks ago, concerning the diminishing influence of the Murdock press: