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Reports of the Death of the Newspaper...

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..are exaggerated, at least in this area.  While U.S. newspapers are in freefall, and the Toronto papers are suffering, there's something different happening in Western Canada, according to a report released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (h/t James Mirtle):

Two major Toronto dailies are showing a decrease in paid circulation for the six months ending March 31, 2009, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations newspaper circulation and audience FAS-FAX report released today. But it's a different picture for major dailies in Quebec, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Alberta, which saw their paid circulations actually increase in the same period.

The Vancouver Province, Vancouver Sun, Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald all saw increases in circulation from 2% and up for the last six month period compared to last year.

This is very good news.  While I like to harp on the print media as much as most bloggers, the simple fact of the matter is that for breaking stories and day-to-day work, the beat reporter is irreplaceable.  It's particularly nice to see the increase in the Journal's readership; between Jim Matheson, Dan Barnes, Joanne Ireland and blogger David Staples, Oilers fans need the coverage of the team that paper provides.