HONG KONG, September 15, 2010 (AFP) – Asian newspapers are defying the global print media meltdown while their counterparts in the West spill red ink and lay off staff in droves as readers flock to online news. Print advertising — the lifeblood of a newspaper’s revenue base — has plunged 47 percent in the hard-hit North American market since 2005, while the outlook for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) remains tepid, says a new study by global consultancy Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
However, Asia’s newspaper advertising is expected to rise 3.1 percent annually through 2014 to 27.3 billion US dollars, according to PwC’s “Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2010-2014.”
The trend toward online news has been slower in Asia where newspapers remain popular, including Japan which has the world’s highest newspaper readership.
“In Asia Pacific and Latin America…newspaper readership has held up and is increasing, which accounts for their stronger performance in recent years and faster growth rates compared with North America and EMEA in the next five years,” the report said.
Spending in Asia’s newspaper sector will rise at 2.3 percent annually through 2014, it added.
In Hong Kong, the cit