AJC’s Circulation down 6.7%

Only four of the top twenty newspapers had an increase in circulation, and none increased more that 1%.  The AJC had the third largest drop of the top twenty, behind only the San Francisco Chronicle (down 15.6%) and the Boston Globe (down 8.5%).  More details here.


  1. Tommy_a2b says:

    It could only have been sweeter if the drop would have been larger.

    He who dares not offend cannot be honest. — Thomas Paine

  2. Rusty says:

    Contrary to Beth’s persecution fantasy, print circulation is dropping because of factors that have little to do with ideology or even quality of the journalism contained — namely the web and other alternative media that are less effort to access and less effort to absorb.

    Print circulation numbers don’t tell the whole story unless you compare them to the growth of online readership. A newspaper’s print circulation can drop like a stone, but it may be picking up online readers at three times that rate.

    Then you can discuss whether an online reader is worth as much as a print reader, in terms of both dollars and loyalty. That answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no, and where any discussion of the state of newspapers should be directed toward.

    I couldn’t find any data immediately on the AJC’s online readers, so if anyone has that I think it would make for more interesting conversation fodder. I do know that the AJC frequently is a top-listed link on bugmenot.

  3. buzzbrockway says:


    I tend to agree with you. I still read the AJC every day, I just don’t subscribe. It would be interesting to see if they’re profitable – which is probably more important to the Publisher than the number of people who get a paper in their driveway everyday.

    Declining circulation is more a factor of the growth of alternative sources of information coupled with the growth of online readership. Atlanta may still be a “one paper town” but’s it’s certainly not a one news source town which I think is more important.

  4. flamingmoderate says:

    I am inclined to agree with Beth on this one guys. The declines in readership of liberally-biased papers is online with the decline in viewership of liberally-based television news programs and stations. Consider the recently reported (still looking for the article I read this in) CNN ratings…down a great deal from last year…but FOXNews on the otherhand saw an increase of nearly the same percentage as CNN lost…

    Once again, I’ll post the article I found this info in as soon as I locate it online…

  5. SouthernConservative says:

    What’s funny about this? The simple fact that the same people who will go up on here today and decry the AJC for being a bastion of liberal journalism will quote the AJC as truth tomorrow to tear down Ralph Reed, Rudy Guliani, and other Republicans against whom they have a personal agenda.

    Note: Beth, this isn’t speaking to you personally, I just liked your choice of rhetoric 🙂

  6. flamingmoderate says:

    Look guys, I think we have been trying to play off the very accurate point that Beth made.

    The AJC is extremely liberally-biased. It’s decline in circulation is online with the decline in viewership of liberally-biased television news shows.

    I’m sure that alternative media has something to do with it…but consider that FoxNews’s increase in viewers is startlingly close to the number of viewers than CNN reported as decreased in the past year.

    I think people are finding alternative means of getting their info…but more often than not, that alternative mean includes finding a less liberal news program.

  7. George Allen 08 says:

    While I’d like to think the drop in circulation is because of a backlash to their liberal slant, I think it’s more realistic that these papers are just losing market share to the alternative media (websites and blogs). I’d imagine traditional newspapers will continue to see decreased circulation and profits.

  8. The Busdriver says:

    Maybe we all agree the AJC has a liberal slant. But that bias exists largely within their editorial section.

    Does the AJC’s slant mean that their news reporting, complete with documentation, ceases to be factual? That seems to be what Reed people claim–that the AJC’s editorial leanings taint each and every single column inch of their news reporting. That’s just not rational.

    If the LA Times runs a news item–with documentation–that’s critical of conservatives (of which I’m one), I can’t just brush it aside because of their journalist’s bias.

    We can say what we want about the voting habits of those who work at major newspapers, but their political persuasions cannot completely discredit the validity of their reporting (with the exception of Dan Rather and his producer). Facts are facts.

  9. SouthernConservative says:

    Busdriver – answer one question for me: who wrote the vast majority, if not the sole majority, of the articles on Reed?

  10. The Busdriver says:

    The local newspaper, the AJC. What does that matter? They’re covering a local story, just as the San Diego Union Tribune covered the Duke Cunningham story, and the Modesto Bee covered Gary Condit, and the Columbus Dispatch covered Bob Ney.

    Stories chronicling Ralph’s escapes have also appeared in the Washington Post, The New York Times, the Weekly Standard, World, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, The Dallas Morning News, etc, etc.

    Does something have to appear on the 700 Club for it to have journalistic merit?

    Additionally, why does the volume of stories about Ralph in the AJC somehow discredit the reporting. Even if the AJC has an axe to grind with Ralph, does that mean their reporting, with documentation, is dishonest? Did they fraudulently reproduce emails between Jack and Ralph? Did they photoshop billing records?

    By the way, the New York Times covered the fall of the Berlin Wall. Does that mean it didn’t happen.

    Honestly. Show me where the AJC has misrepresented the facts and hear you out.

  11. jacewalden says:

    “Show me where the AJC has misprepresented the facts and hear you out.”

    The coverage of the 48th Brigade’s deployment to Iraq was some of the most liberally-biased coverage I have ever seen.

    Yes, it’s true, Soldiers wanted to come home. Many were homesick. But to represent these facts as proof that the soldiers questioned the rationale for their being there is completely inaccurate. Every soldier I have spoken to has been extremely disappointed with the AJC’s misrepresenting the facts.

    Here’s another example (regarding the war)…How many times have you heard it reported in the AJC and on CNN, that the Army is having trouble meeting its recruiting goals? Probably several. Well try this on for size: What if I told you that re-enlistment rates (even those in the combat zones) are at an ALL-TIME high? You probably haven’t heard that fact, because the AJC didn’t report it. The facts they present were true, but they didn’t tell the whole story.

    I would say that the omission of facts is also a misrepresentation of the truth.

    Bus Driver, what do you consider the job of a news agency to be?

    I consider to be delivering the most accurate and informative information possible, regardless of how many papers it will sell you. Cynthia Tucker obviously doesn’t believe this. So if the AJC is your only means of getting info, then I pity you.

  12. jacewalden says:

    A “slant” can be created from more than just editorials…

    In fact, it’s created easier through the manipulation and omission of facts.

  13. The Busdriver says:

    Ok, Jace, you need to read for content. My entire post referred to the Reed saga, and that’s it. I didn’t touch anything having to do with the 48th or the war. And in the case of the Reed scandal, I was referring to news items which contain documentation, not hyperbole and conjecture. You cannot throw out various news items because you don’t like the messenger.

    Today we know a number of things about the way Reed conducts business because we’ve had the opportunity to read his emails, and we’ve been able to follow his paper trail–and this is largely thanks to the news media. And Ralph’s emails are his words and his words only, regardless of which publication posted them first. Even they appeared in “Truckin” or “Ladies Home Journal,” they are still Ralph’s words and they are powerfulul. Heck, even Cosmopolitan could pull off a legitimate news story if they included documentation.

    And no, the AJC is not my only means for news gathering. I named the Wall Street Journal (a liberal rag, no doubt), the Weekly Standard (again, Nancy Pelosi’s waterboy), The New York Times, This Washington Times, The Hill, and Roll Call. A diverse group of sources, to be sure.

    I’m still waiting for someone to show me where (if at all) the AJC had fudged the facts in their coverage of the Reed scandal.

    And please, no one point out that Dick Cheney acknowledged Ralph at an event last year. Someone always posts that.

  14. jacewalden says:

    No, BusDriver, I think you need to re-read your own posts for content. In your first post, you were talking about liberal bias in a general sense, and you simply used the Reed scandal as proof to support your scandal.

    I was following up in a general sense, using the 48th as my proof.

    To quote you,
    “Does the AJC’s slant mean that their news reporting, complete with documentation, ceases to be factual? That seems to be what Reed people claim–that the AJC’s editorial leanings taint each and every single column inch of their news reporting. That’s just not rational.”

    I’m saying that it is rational and most likely probable. That’s why I mentioned the other news besides Ralph Reed. Believe me, I’m no fan of Reed! In fact, I’m completely the opposite…I have no doubt that the facts about him are probably true. The AJC is good at printing facts.

    Just not all the facts as evidenced by my earlier post.

  15. jacewalden says:

    So, while I can’t cite an example of how the facts were fudged in the Reed case (because god knows they’re probably true), I can say with all confidence that “facts” alone don’t tell the whole story. If you want to remain “unbaised” you must print all the facts or none of them…

    Anything else is misrepresentation, plain and simple.

  16. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    My advice for the AJC, get rid of Cynthia Tucker…It would only make sence, in an area where you have so many Conservatives that you get rid of an editor who can only relate to one Georgian, Cynthia McKinney. “The Cynthia’s” are a unique kind of Georgian, 2 out of 9million.

  17. Jace, is it possible that re-enlistement rates could be at a high because the soldiers who wanted out have gotten out in the last couple of years and the soldiers who remain in the army are the most loyal and most likely to re-enlist? I mean, if you were in the armed forces and wanted out, I think if you had the chance these last few years you would be gone. If you still stayed around since ’03 (when Iraq started) you’re in for the long haul.

    In other words, Atlanta Hawks see biggest percentage increase in wins from season to season would be a true story for this year — and probably one you haven’t seen reported — but isn’t necessarily something to cheer about considering they went from having one of the worst records of all time to still the 4th or 5th worst in the NBA this year.

    Another thing, it could very well be true that RE-enlistment could be at an all time high while the armed forces could still not meet their goals for OVERALL enlistment when you combine the re-enlistments with the new recruits. To me that could be an example of selective conservative bias (ie only the good news out of Iraq).

    If the Army says we need X soldiers this year and they do not hit X, why is it good news that needs to be highlighted that one segment of their recruiting was successful when overall the news is objectively negative?

  18. jacewalden says:


    First of all, I actually am an infantry officer in the 48th Brigade…Unfortunately, I didn’t get out of Infantry Officer Basic Course until late January, which was too late to be sent with my unit.

    I see what you’re saying about the rates, but I may not have made my point clear enough earlier…

    Record high re-enlistment rates during a time of war are definately something to cheer about. And it might interest you as well that all branches of service ended up meeting their yearly recruitment goals (that’s NEW recruits)…but when the monthly rates were down, all we heard on the news was “the military is having trouble meeting goals due to war”…true at the time, yes. But have any news stations/papers came back since and followed up with the facts about goals having been met in the end?

    Of course not. So, hypothetically, a random dude who only gets his news from AJC or CNN is most likely under the belief that recruitment is still hurting. Not to mention the fact that he hasn’t even heard about the record re-enlistment rates.

    And yes, If we only reported the record high reenlistment, and the met recruiting goals, that WOULD be biased conservatively. That’s why its important to mention the whole story in an unbiased manner. Which would include all of the following:

    (1) Many Soldiers are homesick
    (2) Most Soldiers believe their mission is justified
    (3) Monthly recruitment rates are down
    (4) Combat zone re-enlistment rates are at record highs
    (5) All branches of service met their yearly recruitment goals
    (6) #,### soldiers have died in Iraq.

    If you include ALL of the facts, you get an unbiased story. You get the full story. That’s the problem with the AJC and CNN, they omit points (2,4,5). FoxNews would omit points (1 and 3). I don’t think an unbiased news station actually exists. That’s what’s sad.

    And BusDriver, apology accepted. Sorry I got so worked up.

  19. bowersville says:

    I noticed IOBC in January, are you by any chance a grad of NGCSU?

  20. Fuzzyslippers says:

    Do you guys know that the average age of people watching Fox news and CNN is 60? I found that very humorous.

    I like the AJC and subscribe. I realize that it has a liberal bias. (only slightly, at least to me)

    What I don’t like is that the AJC seems to have people on it’s editorial board (and Luckovich) that are hatemongers. Both Cynthia Tucker and Jim Wooten’s editorials do nothing but make people angry by trying to stir up the pot. In a way I guess that’s what they are paid to do. But if that’s the case they have no room to criticize Bill Maher or Sean Hannity as they do the exact same thing. I enjoy reading the editorials from other writers that the paper picks up, but the hometown spinsters just irratate. There is no thought provoking writing, just hate/envy provoking.

    I wonder where they would be if they didn’t do this? Probably down 20% sadly.

  21. bowersville says:

    No Jace, I have a son at NGCSU. If you were Sigma Nu, you know him, he has one more semester, and you know his buddies that are currently 10th Mtn. Afganistan and 101 Kirkuk. I admire your patriotism and you taking a stand on this blog, keep it up!!!

  22. jacewalden says:


    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I wasn’t a sigma nu, but I probably still know your son (I knew almost everyone there). Yeah, if he was friends with Barclay and Vickery, I definately knew them. Thanks again.

  23. bowersville says:

    JACE, you nailed the names, Barclay & Vickery. My son’s name is Daniel and he is from Hartwell, and so is John. Again, keep standing up to these “PUNDITS.”

  24. JP says:

    Busdriver, very well said. I think this has more to do with the newspapers that have all their content available online than it does to liberal vs. conservative slant.

  25. spaceygracey says:

    Cynthia’s too proud to blog, but she’d do well in the blogosphere. She once declared, at an Atlanta Press Club event, that she never reads blogs, discounted them as useless babble presumably, and only read the WSJ and the NYT.

    That was about a year ago. I sure hope she’s broadened her horizons by now, but I wouldn’t count on it. Most MSM journalists are still trying to figure out how to copy a URL. They’d better get with the program, fast, ’cause as Rusty says above, it’s ALL headed online and away from print, no matter what side you cheer for.

  26. Rusty says:

    This might interest all of you:

    Eight in 10 adults (116 million) are reading the newspaper over the course of a week, and one in three Internet users (55 million) visit a newspaper Web site over the course of a month, according to the spring 2006 Newspaper Audience Database (NADbase) report released today by the Newspaper Association of America.

    The striking part about that figure? That means that more than half (55 milion vs. 46 million) of newspapers being read are being read online.

    You can take that data for what it’s worth, as the NAA will want to paint a rosy picture.

    NADbase sounds like something out of Beavis and Butthead.

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