Great to
read your work re circulations, but please don’t ignore free local
papers. Here is the situation down in my small country town. It’s off
season on the Surf Coast but don’t tell the publishers of the local
papers. We are currently experiencing a paper war down here with the
new kid on the block, The Surf Coast Times, taking on Rupert’s Echo.

Both papers like to talk up their circulations. The Surf Coast Times has no doubt been pinching advertisers from the Echo.
Not bad considering it is essentially a journalist-free zone that won’t
pay for content and publishes press releases virtually word for word.
The Echo isn’t much better with one inexperienced and over-worked young
journalist virtually writing the entire paper. In fact, it may even be

The Echo (41,700 copies, their figures) has recently moved into a spacious high tech office in Torquay, while The Times
publishes 15,000 copies a week (their figures) from a broom closet. But
the question is, do that many people actually read these two papers?

is by two methods. Bulk delivery to shops, real estate agents, etc, and
home deliveries. Judging from the huge piles in the shop trays at the
end of each week, I would estimate half to three-quarters of the papers
end up getting recycled at best, and landfilled at worst. Home
deliveries are kept constant, even though a massive number of holiday
homes on the coast are unoccupied in winter.

“No Junk mail”
stickers are ignored until the delivery kids can’t fit another paper in
the slot. On many occasions we get eight to ten papers delivered in the
one week. And then there’s the situation where delivery kids just
couldn’t be arsed delivery the papers and just dump them. Drains are
the favoured method of disposal. Of course some papers get used more
than once at cafés and libraries but these figures must pale into
insignificance compared with the massive number of papers that go