Island of Ireland report: NI papers all down

LONDON - All daily and Sunday Northern Irish newspapers experienced a year-on-year decline in circulation, according to the ABC's Island of Ireland report for the first half of 2008, although Northern Ireland's magazines posted a mixed set of results.

The Belfast Telegraph remains the daily newspaper with the largest circulation at over 75,000 copies for the first half of 2008, despite experiencing a year-on-year decline of over 9%.

Sarah Little, circulation manager of the Belfast Telegraph, said the decline was attributable to the marketplace.

"Evening and regional papers across the UK are declining. It's because of a change in people's lifestyles. Still, there's no-one else in the marketplace [in Belfast]. We still deliver the largest reach," Little said.

Over half of the non-daily Northern Irish newspapers experienced a year-on-year decline, with the free North West Echo, which dropped 11.3% to 29,452, posting the largest percentage change year on year. Of the five newspapers to post a year-on-year decline of over 10%, two, including the Mid Ulster Echo, are free papers.

The Community Telegraph Group posted the largest circulation at 155,994, up 16.7% year on year. The group publishes five free titles, the largest of which is Community Telegraph East Belfast with a circulation of 40,871.

Northern Irish magazines performed better than newspapers with an average year-on-year increase of 4.33%. After City Matters, the residents' magazine distributed by Belfast City Council, the magazine with the greatest circulation was Ni4Kids, a magazine about parenting, children and families, up 7.2% year on year to 37,860.

UK-wide magazines are available in Northern Ireland and their ABCs are calculated as part of the UK total.

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