Digital Transformation

Only 41% of Scots read daily print newspapers, study shows


By John McCarthy | Media editor

August 4, 2015 | 3 min read

A third of Scottish people have have stopped reading daily print newspapers in the space of 15 years, according to data from the Scottish social attitudes survey.

Print’s decline is most notably marked with the readership almost halving from 76 per cent in 1999 to 41 per cent in 2014.

Furthermore, a third of those surveyed said they check online news at least once a day show that the platform on which news is consumed has largely shifted to digital.

Rachel Ormston, head of attitudes at ScotCen Social Research, said: “It’s clear that the way we consume news is constantly evolving, with one in three of us now reading news online on a daily basis.

“While this figure still lags behind the four in 10 who say they read a daily newspaper regularly, newspapers’ struggles for sales are reflected in the very steep decline in regular readers we have recorded over the last 15 years.

“And the ageing profile of regular newspaper readers means that this decline may well continue: newspapers will need to be increasingly fleet footed to compete with online rivals, particularly where the latter are free of charge.”

There was found to be a generational divide also. Those in the 25-44 year old category were found to be the most likely to prioritise online news. Scots aged 65 and over were found to be the most loyal to print titles in contrast.

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