Evidently Atlanta is the worst city for newspapers

Report: Just 13% of Atlantans read the print AJC


In case you missed it—and you probably did, because as you’ll soon learn, Atlantans don’t read much news—Atlanta is the worst city in the country for newspaper readership.

According to a recent story in Ad Age, just 13 percent of Atlantans read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in print, and only 11 percent of us read newspaper websites. (The story does not specify if those are only AJC-related sites or include others like Creative Loafing.)

Houston and San Antonio tie for the second-worst spot, followed by Las Vegas and Bakersfield, California.

The city with the highest newspaper consumption? Pittsburgh, where 19 percent of adults read the Post-Gazette and 12 percent are loyal to the Tribune-Review. (Yes, kids, there are still cities with more than one daily paper.) And some 9 percent of Steel City residents are daily readers of newspaper web content.

Overall, print newspaper readership has declined 20 percent since 2001, Ad Age notes.

Related Content

  • Darin

    This study is reporting on readership in metropolitan areas. I wonder what the percentage is for City of Atlanta versus the metro.

    Metro Atlanta is so huge and sprawling, and contains so many local news print sources (Marietta Daily Journal, Gwinnett Daily Post, Cherokee Tribune) — there should be little surprise about low AJC readership within that broader group.

    Also of note: there’s a significant anti-City of Atlanta bias among suburbanites (and vice versa, of course). Because of that, many in the suburbs wrote off the AJC many years ago as not representing them, despite the many attempts by that paper to appeal to the suburban market.

    • Mike

      As a suburbanite, I wrote off the AJC, and terminated my subscription, several years ago. However, it was not due to any anti-City of Atlanta bias.

      Instead, the last straw was a headline referring to a federal court decision adverse to those who wanted Intelligent Design mentioned in school curriculums as an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution. That headline read: “Intelligent Design Flunks [case, or test, etc.]” That headline was insulting to all Christians who believe that God did have some hand in creating this world. I could just see the liberals in the AJC high-fiving themselves over that court decision and laughing at Christians with that headline. I was not going to stand for that insult and canceled my subscription days later.

      That headline came after years of slanted coverage and persistent race-baiting op-ed columns from Cynthia Tucker. I simply had enough.

      • blackbird13

        It’s telling that you think only (and “all”) Christians believe in “intelligent design,” and that an accurate (if silly) description of the outcome of the case offended you. That seems to be the major function of being a Christian today–looking for perceived slights and being offended by the truth.

  • Amy Glennon

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reaches 42 percent of Atlanta adults every week in print and online, based on data from the same Scarborough report referenced in the Ad Age story about newspaper readership [The best (and worst) cities for newspapers, June 10, 2013]. The story represents only an isolated snapshot of readership on one average weekday. It is an unfortunate and incomplete picture of the strength of the newspaper industry’s audience, as well as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s reach.

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is a multimedia organization, like most of our counterparts across the country, offering a portfolio of products that deliver great local content, engaged audiences and highly effective advertising solutions.

    Amy Glennon
    Publisher, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    • Former AJC Reader

      No, I think I’ll go with the study over the publisher’s word. And a follow-up study should be done on how much the Internet numbers have dipped since MyAJC was launched, which requires a print subscription, thus eliminating out-of-state readers who visit AJC.com. As for your last sentence, rarely is the coverage complete. The AJC is minimally engaging at best.

    • http://www.stopajcreach.org/ AJC Reach Sucks

      In my opinion, the AJC is a dying newspaper, in a dying industry.

      Circulation of the newspaper has dropped so much, that it seems that the AJC had to come up with the desperate idea of unbundling the advertising circulars, stuffing them in plastic bags without the news sections and calling the product ‘AJC Reach”, and tossing them by the millions onto streets and sidewalks – to the addresses of people who *don’t* subscribe to the newspaper.

      That’s one way to get circulation up for advertisers. Although a pretty sleazy way, in my opinion. Further, littering Atlanta’s neighborhoods isn’t a sign of a business that cares about the communities in which it does business.

      For those who don’t know, Ms. Glennon was the project manager for AJC Reach. After working on that much despised project, she got a promotion to Publisher. Which should tell you something about the DNA of the business side of the AJC.

      Good luck, Ms. Glennon. Cite all the statistics you want. You’re building a secure cabin on a sinking ship.

  • Mary

    For 25 years I have lived in many cities along the east coast and always enjoyed the local paper. A few years ago when I lived in Atlanta, the AJC was poorly written, as if it was dumbed-down to a 4th grade level. Often simple grammar rules were not used. I got so frustrated I stopped reading it. There were more thorough, thoughtful and informative ways to get news.
    Maybe AJC should survey readers and non-readers about their needs.