Newspapers losing ads, not audience

A study out today suggests newspapers aren't losing readers, as their websites have a larger share of the overall audience than the print versions do. John Dimsdale reports loss of advertising is the real problem.

Scott Jagow: More and more Americans are getting their news from the Web. Obviously that's bad news for newspapers. But a study out today gives more of a glass half full view of this. Here's John Dimsdale.

John Dimsdale: Americans may be reading fewer newspapers, but that doesn't mean newspaper companies are losing readers.

Tom Rosenstiel: If you look at the top 10 newspapers, their websites have larger share of the overall audience than those newspapers do in print.

Tom Rosenstiel is the author of the latest report on the state of the news media by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Rosenstiel: The problem facing old media is not really loss of audience. It's loss of advertising. Because a lot of advertisers no longer need to hitch their messages to the news to reach consumers. Toyota can have the Toyota website, Circuit City can have its own website and doesn't necessarily need those inserts in the Sunday newspaper.

Rosenstiel says to survive, newspaper companies will have to find a new way to make advertising online just as attractive and persuasive as it is in newspapers.