More Flemings reading newspapers

According to new figures from the Centre for Information about the Media (CIM) the Flemish press reaches 4 million readers. The figures are based on a representative survey of 10,000 Belgians. The survey reveals that the Flemish newspapers and the Dutch-language version of the free-sheet Metro reach 4,045,500 readers. This is a rise of 15% compared with a year ago.      

By far the most popular newspaper in Flanders is ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’. Its printed version and website have a total reach of 2,244,500 readers, 11% up on last year. ‘Het Nieuwsblad’ comes in second with a total reach of 1,626,100 readers, 9% more than was the case a year ago.  

‘De Standaard’ reaches 715,100 readers every day, 6% more than was the case last year. With its loyal readership in and around Antwerp, ‘Gazet van Antwerpen’ reaches 628,800 readers every day, 13% up on last year. Similarly Het Belang van Limburg’s loyal readership base in Limburg province and among people with roots in Limburg means that the paper and its website reaches 538,400 readers, 12% more than it did last year. ‘De Morgen’s readership has also grown by 12%. 448,500 people now read the paper either in its printed form or in its digital version every day.  

The freesheet Metro has seen its readership rise by 10% and now has 378,800 readers. The financial daily ‘De Tijd’ has a reach of 305,500, up 15% on last year. The figures above are not sales figures, but show a particular publication’s reach.         

Success of both the digital and print versions

In these days of growing digital news consumption one might expect the reach of newspapers to have fallen. However, this is not the case here in Flanders with sales of newspapers having remained stable. Elsewhere such as in the Francophone part of Belgium and in the UK sales of newspapers have fallen and there is an increased dependency on digital news sources such as the social media. This can leave the public more exposed to fake news.   

Meanwhile, Flemings are much more loyal to their tried and tested news sources such as the VRT, the commercial broadcaster VTM and their favourite daily paper.