Black, White, and Read Elsewhere

The newspaper may be gasping its last breaths in the U.S., but as a middle class emerges in China and India, newly literate and monied types are bumping up global circulation of newspapers. According to a report by the World Association of Newspapers, circulation of paid newspapers rose 2.6 percent worldwide in 2007, with the biggest jump in India and China. In the U.S., on the other hand, circulation dropped 3 percent as more readers figured out that they could read the paper for free online.

The continued decrease in U.S. paper subscriptions has prompted the Associated Press to develop a new model for news delivery it calls "1-2-3 Filing". Reporters file a quick, breaking news headline, then a short story in the present-tense to keep Web readers abreast of what’s happening, then a third version that A.P. Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll describes as "a longer story, a multimedia presentation or nothing at all."

If the arc of the rising Chindian middle class continues to mimic the West’s progression, the smart bet is on digital media in the East a couple years out.

What do you think?

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