View Full Version : Mainstream newspaper sales go up

19-02-2003, 10:49 PM
Wednesday, February 19, 2003

<font size="+1">Mainstream newspaper sales go up</font>
Their circulation numbers rise while alternative media are losing readers - reflecting a calmer political atmosphere

By Brendan Pereira

KUALA LUMPUR - Here is an indication that the political temperature in Malaysia has dropped from the mercury-raising days of 1999: the circulation of mainstream newspapers is increasing steadily while the allure of the alternative media is fading.

Latest audited circulation figures of major newspapers show that sales are on the upswing.

For the first six months of last year, slightly more than 240,000 copies of Utusan Malaysia were sold daily, an increase of 1,500 copies over the preceding six months.

During the same period, the paper's Sunday edition registered an increased circulation of more than 24,000 copies.

For the first six months of last year, The New Straits Times sold on average 138,371 copies a day, still some way off from the 180,000 target set by Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad, the paper's top boss.

Since he took charge of the broadsheet in August 2001, more space has been given to articles about the opposition, on alternative views and exclusive reports.

But the undisputed leader in the English newspaper market is The Star. Its average daily circulation from January to June last year was 297,057, an increase of 7,762 copies over the preceding six months.

Perhaps more encouraging for the tabloid are results of a survey which show that its fastest-growing market is Malay readers.