To add some longer term data to yesterday’s Tele takes a hiding post by O’Neill, the graph below outlines the performance (using the six monthly Audit Bureau of Circulation figures) of the Belfast Telegraph, Irish News and News Letter. I’ve added in the the Irish Times sales for comparison.
The overall trend is one of decline. However, it is significantly more pronounced for the Belfast Telegraph.
In fact if simple linear trend lines are added to the graph, sales of the Irish News and Belfast Telegraph will collide towards the end of 2012/beginning of 2013.
Statistically, a more sophisticated trend analysis would be required before drawing any formal conclusions. (Applying a polynomial trend line keeps clear water between the two publications for much longer.)