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More People Buying Newspapers Than Ever

More People Buying Newspapers Than Ever

Dunedin, May 14 - More people are buying and reading daily newspapers, a finding which has pleased the chairman of the Newspaper Publisher Association, Julian Smith, of Dunedin.

Latest statistics released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulation show newspaper buying has increased throughout New Zealand in the six months to March 31, 2004, compared with the period to March 31, 2003, with Otago and Canterbury leading the way.

''More newspaper sales mean a better informed society, '' Mr Smith said. ''They also testify to the quality of newspapers and to their role as the prime media outlet in New Zealand.''

Mr Smith's own newspaper, the Otago Daily Times, returned the highest percentage increase for newspapers over 25,000 circulation.

The privately-owned ODT sold a daily average of 45,400 papers, up 854
(1.9 percent) on 2003 figures.

Christchurch-based The Press increased sales by 1325 copies (1.4 percent) to 92,436.

Elsewhere, The New Zealand Herald (Auckland) sales rose by 580 to
211,490; Dominion-Post (Wellington) by 34 to 99,123; Hawkes BayToday (Hastings) by 118 to 30,197; and Waikato Times (Hamilton) by 37 to 41,009.

Of the major newspapers, only the Southland Times showed a circulation decrease, dropping 371 copies to 29,557.

Among the smaller daily newspapers, whose audited returns are for the 12 months to March 31, 2004, healthy gains were recorded in Tauranga, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Nelson and Whangarei.

The Oamaru Mail increased circulation by 81 copies to 3545, while the Timaru Herald fell by 31 to 14,329.

ENDS

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