Nothing can save the UK dailies Not even the interest created by the stunning success of the British Olympic team in Beijing could prevent all the quality dailies registering a year-on-year fall in circulation for August. The Financial Times had the smallest year-on-year circulation decline in the quality daily sector last month, down 2.17% to 417,570, according to the latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations published today. This was a dip of 1.42% compared with July. The FT, which sells most of its copies abroad, had a UK and Ireland circulation of 127,993 copies a day on average last month. — The Guardian

Online TV numbers shoot up We’re tuning into our desktops more and more these days. The Conference Board, a business research organization, and market research firm TNS Global have the proof! According to their recent report, online viewership of television broadcasts has almost doubled since 2006. One-fifth of families fire up the laptop instead of the big screen. The top two destinations were the official TV channel homepage and YouTube.com. Nine out of ten online viewers check out videos and TV shows at home. But about 15 percent are catching up on Heroes at their workplace. Tsk tsk! New York Observer

Nine’s ultimate recycling act Even though there’s still a fair whack of the year left to go, it’s probably safe to say that 2008 hasn’t been as “two-thousand-and-great” as Channel Nine would’ve hoped; between bonings, cancellations, court orders and Sam Newman, it’s been an annus horribilis that even the battle scarred Queen Liz would’ve shuddered at. Thus, I don’t want to jinx things for our “friends” over at Nine HQ, but the latest whisperings in this godforsaken world could well point towards one of the best ideas the network has come up with in a while: bringing back Hey Hey, It’s Saturday!Defamer

Greenslade: I love ink, but papers are dying I cannot understand why journalists continue to call me a doom-monger whenever I point to the undeniable decline of newsprint newspaper circulations. It’s a fact. It’s reality. It’s what is happening. Even more farcical are those commenters who urge me to become more positive, to act as a cheerleader for papers. This is plainly absurd. Surely no-one believes that by my denying reality the situation will somehow change for the better. — Greenslade, The Guardian

Cost cutting, NY Times style The New York Times will reduce the number of sections printed in the New York metropolitan area, in a move to save money on production, the newspaper’s executives announced on Friday. The Metro report will become part of the newspaper’s A section, which also contains the International and National reports, and the editorial and Op-Ed pages, on Mondays through Saturdays, and possibly on Sundays, as well. — NY Times

Obama snubs Rupert If the Rupert Murdoch story in Vanity Fair (Tuesdays with Rupert) is accurate, one reason for Fox News’ bias against Obama during the campaign — apart from the fact that the news channel is a mouthpiece for right-wing ideology and politicians — is that Roger Ailes, the head of the operation, was in a snit because Obama recognized the bias and wouldn’t grant interviews.Centre for Citizen Media blog

Taliban PR A magazine photospread of Taliban fighters posing in the uniforms of dead French soldiers sparked controversy yesterday as new accounts emerged of army failings in the ambush that saw 10 members of the French military killed last month. Paris Match ran photos of a group of Taliban fighters and their commander, “Farouki”, wearing French army uniform and helmets and carrying French army assault rifles, walkie-talkies and even a watch belonging to a dead soldier. — The Guardian

Plugging into the e-paper The electronic newspaper, a large portable screen that is constantly updated with the latest news, has been a prop in science fiction for ages. It also figures in the dreams of newspaper publishers struggling with rising production and delivery costs, lower circulation and decreased ad revenue from their paper product. While the dream device remains on the drawing board, Plastic Logic will introduce publicly on Monday its version of an electronic newspaper reader: a lightweight plastic screen that mimics the look — but not the feel — of a printed newspaper.– NY Times

Peter Fray

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