A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Further gloom at The Gloomiad.....

Much to the chagrin of the odd Guardian correspondent, on the 6th June (below), I chronicled the declining sales of The Guardian, year-on-year (April-to-April) and for one month (April-on-March, 2004).

The latest statistics from the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) are now available - and the gloom seems to be deepening. Total daily sales have fallen yet further to a mere 362,638, a decline of -4.94% year-on-year, the largest single fall for any national daily paper, quality or otherwise. Both The Times and The Independent are, by contrast, up. Moreover, the darkness appears to be gathering ever more thickly, the December 2003-to-May 2004 sales figure collapsing by a massive -7.72% on the December 2002-to-May 2003 figure - this again is the poorest performance of any national daily newspaer.

In my previous blog, I tried to analyse the causes for this decline. Clearly, the introduction of the tabloid editions of The Independent and of The Times have played a part, but I remain convinced that the increasingly right-on preachiness of so many Guardian commentators has really got up a lot of people's noses, mine included. As one long-time Guardian reader said to me only this morning, commentary has become so predictable and so boring on everything from Europe to Iraq and the environment.

There also seems to be an increasing problem in trying to separate out neutral reportage from personal comment. This is perfectly illustrated today by the placing of Polly Toynbee's somewhat tear-stained comment on the European elections on the front page which normally carries reported news (see The Guardian's June 14 Front Page here).

Philip, off to enjoy a bit of shopping therapy at the lovely Bluewater (much better than all the metro snobs will allow). Coffee and cake too.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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