While all is not well in the newspaper business, the global picture is far better than the US one, according to stats released today by the World Association of Newspapers. Overall circulation is up nearly 3% globally, mostly thanks to Asia. Even in the US 62% of adults read a paper every day. Although that's declining, it's still a pretty big business.
But the one unambiguous growth area in the industry? Free newspapers:
Free dailies are surging ahead, growing circulation 20% last year, mostly in Asia and their native Europe. Free dailies now make up 7% of worldwide print circulation (EU 23%, US 8%).
[UPDATE: Piet Bakker notes that the WAN's data collection methods appear to be pretty sloppy. Take these numbers with a grain of salt--probably directionally accurate, but no more than that.]