Romanian Crisis Takes its Toll on Newspapers

The print media in Romania are facing major drops in circulation as hard-pressed people cut out luxuries and news-hungry readers turn to the net.The circulation of most of Romania’s daily newspapers and weeklies has suffered dramatic falls in recent months, as the country struggles with an economic downturn, official data show.

The sales of leading broadsheet Romania Libera dropped to a daily average of just under 30,000 in September, down by around 9,000 copies compared to the same month in 2011, according to the Bureau of Circulation, BRAT.

The Adevarul daily has suffered the biggest fall. Average sales per issue dropped from a little over 21,000 in July to barely above 14,000 only two months later. In the same period last year sales were around 30-35,000 per issue.

The Jurnalul National has fared better. It recorded average sales of around the 20,000 mark in the third quarter of this year, similar to the same period in 2011.

Sales of tabloids were higher, but also show significant declines. The top seller, Click!, sold around 123,000 copies in September, down by around 40,000 from the same month last year. Sporting dailies have lost 10-20,000 copies on average.

Advertising has also fallen for the dailies, whose total circulation is about 1.2 million copies a day.

The effect of the economic crisis on Romania’s newspapers has been seen in sweeping reductions in staffing in the sector as well.

More than 6,000 journalists have lost their jobs over the past few years after hundreds of small publications closed.

Analysts say the decrease in newspaper circulation is also due to the fact that more people now turn to the internet and mobile phones for news.

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