Oh lordy. Look at that. There appears to be some good news—at long last—for Philadelphia’s two major daily newspapers.
Granted, that good news wasn’t easy to find when the Alliance for Audited Media released its latest circulation numbers on Tuesday: The numbers appeared mighty grim for the Inquirer and Daily News—a combined 5.7 percent circulation drop during the year ended March 30, nearly 20,000 Philadelphians apparently deciding to give up the newspaper habit. The Sunday edition news appeared even worse: A 7.7 percent decline during the year, a loss of 40,000 readers. In a failing industry, those numbers appeared to show Philadelphia newspapers failing faster, once again.
It’s probably no surprise that one of the most popular things on the Internet last week—in a week full of Boston bombings, Texas explosions, attempted poisonings, and an earthquake in China—was a long essay at The Guardian, called “News is bad for you—and giving up reading it will make you happier.”
Philadelphians have been told for months that after years of sharing Philly.com as the online dumping ground for both newspapers, 2013 would bring two things: 1) Individual websites for both papers, and 2) a paywall that requires users to pay for the content therein. On Thursday—seemingly by accident; both sites are still in "beta previews"—the websites emerged into public view, at Inquirer.com and PhillyDailyNews.com. Barring last-minute problems, the sites should officially launch on Monday.