Opinion » Lingo Yarns

Newspaper circulation


The newspaper industry has been losing readers for many years, hence the plethora of niche publications that attempt to reach "younger" readers. Despite these lame efforts--and a smaller readership base--some aspects of the news industry grow. Last week it was revealed that President Bush hailed the growing importance of the alternative press in a new book Strategery (containing interviews with him and his brain). While the aging demographic of daily newspaper readers continues to cause circulation declines across the country for the behemoth publishing groups, the alternative newsweeklies as an industry continue to grow readership. A few weeks ago, our circulation grew past 35,000 copies per week. This is more than double our circulation in August 2001.

Despite our growing circulation, we continue to have a predictable number of distribution locations decide they don't want the paper. Usually it is because the owner or manager of a particular location doesn't like something he or she reads, so they censor the publication for their customers, like self-appointed morality police. Or, they cave in to one or two customers with a negative opinion about the paper. Recently, a chain of tire stores in the local market asked us to take our papers out because the cover image had "big boobs" and we printed the F-word. Ironically, other publications in the area have published the F-word and they remain in these locations, but one person complains and--poof--we're gone. I find it also ironic that this same tire store's name is a euphemism for an orgasm. But, hey, who are we to judge? I say eff 'em.

Another item of interest is that our Web site traffic spiked dramatically last week. While the "Red State, Meet Police State" feature by Nicholas Collias continues to be spread around the Web and attract lots of visitors, last week another story attracted over 30,000 visitors in two days, a new record. The story? It was a Curious Times news item "Surprise! Big Breast and Hard Nipples Won't Make You Happy." So while big breast on our cover made one particular business unhappy, another story about breasts made our webmaster very happy. It makes me happy, too.

If you want Boise Weekly in your business, at your apartment complex or to cover your breasts with, call Juliana at 344-2055.