Mark Goren in Montreal sent me a story from Thursday's Montreal Gazette. It reports on a study just released that shows that The Gazette, as well as other Canadian newspapers, are in reasonably good shape and, unlike their south-of-the-border cousins, are actually gaining readers.
The article explains how The Gazette has beefed up its online offerings and put greater emphasis on coverage of important local issues.
Perhaps a key reason lies in the difference in readership habits in the two countries. A new study by NADbank, which tracks Canadian newspaper readership, shows 73% of Canadians 18 and up read a newspaper at least once a week. The number in the U.S. is alarmingly closer to 50%.
Here's my guess as to why the difference, and I'd welcome input from any of my Canadian readers who are more familiar with the local media marketplace than I am.
In the U.S., we are saturated with news available to us 24/7 -- from CNN to cable news channels like FOX and CNBC, to local all-news channels on cable in most major markets and many smaller ones. And many markets also have local news sites online.
So, unfortunately, we in the States have an overload of options for news -- international, national and local -- as it happens. People don't wait for the newspaper or for the evening network news.
Maybe there aren't so many options in Canada, which may explain why papers there are still holding their own... for now.
Just my hunch. Am I right or wrong?