Secondary education

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IT MAY not be much consolation to the hard-pressed hacks of the rich world, but in many developing countries the newspaper business is booming. According to figures released in June by the WorldAssociation of Newspapers (WAN), an industry body based in Paris, newspaper sales in Brazil increased by some 12% last year. Over the past five years, circulation has gone up by more than 22%. In India,sales rose by 11%, bringing the five-year increase to more than 35%. Pakistan’s newspaper market grew by almost as much in the same period. The trend is similar elsewhere in Asia and Latin America.The demand for news tends to go up as people enter the workforce, earn more money, invest it and so begin to feel that they have more of a stake in their society. Literacy rates also rise in tandemwith wealth. For the newly literate, flipping through a newspaper in public is a potent and satisfying symbol of achievement.

Literacy campaigns by the government and NGOs account for much of theincrease in sales of Indian newspapers, according to Ashok Dasgupta of the Hindu, a big Indian daily based in Chennai. Hiring is brisk, he says, and new papers and magazines are “cropping up every day”.Most are small, but the number of big, high-quality national business dailies has risen from four in 2006 to six today. A seventh will appear later this year.

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