That’s according to the World Association of Newspapers, which just put out a bunch of data on circulation and reach (covered by MediaPost):
Newspapers reach 41% more adults than the world wide web. More adults read a newspaper every day than people eat a Big Mac every year.
Global newspaper circulation increased +1.3% in 2008, to almost 540 million daily sales, and was up +8.8% over five years. When free dailies are added, circulation rose +1.62% in 2008 and +13% over five years. Europe is the hotbed for free newspaper development: 23% of daily newspapers in Europe were free in 2008. Newspaper circulation increased +6.9% in Africa last year, +1.8% in South America, and +2.9% in Asia. It decreased -3.7% in North America, -2.5% in Australia and Oceania, and -1.8% in Europe. In many mature markets where circulation is declining, newspaper reach remains high — many European countries continue to reach over 70% of the adult population with paid newspapers alone. In Japan, it’s 91%. In North America, it’s 62%.
While reach may be OK, revenues are not: