Des Moines was half its current size and had four newspapers in 1925, the last time their circulation as so low.
Photo credit: Tim Kiser (CC-By-2.5)
Des Moines was half its current size and had four newspapers in 1925, the last time their circulation as so low.Photo credit: Tim Kiser (CC-By-2.5)
Des Moines was half its current size and had four newspapers in 1925, the last time the DMR’s circulation was so low.
Photo credit: Tim Kiser (CC-By-2.5)

Fewer and fewer Iowans are depending on the “newspaper Iowa depends on” these days.  Jennifer Bowen wrote yesterday that the Des Moines Register refused to run a letter she submitted that provided a rebuttal to a full-page ad pro-abortion group NARAL ran in March targeting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.  It may not even matter anymore as it is pretty evident their influence has waned.

Back in December, Cityview Magazine’s Civic Skinny wrote that the Des Moines Register’s circulation hit a 90-year-low.  Here are the numbers:

  • Daily and digital circulation: 84,530 (for six months ending 9/30/14).  That is down 5.7% from 2013, and down 44% in nine years.
  • Sunday circulation: 146,522 (for six months ending 9/30/14).  Down 9% from 2013 and down nearly 40% in nine years.

This doesn’t just reflect people visiting the website either.  Civic Skinny wrote, “the number of ‘unique users’ visiting the website has fallen alarmingly in the past 12 months.”

While online subscription numbers are generally rising, the number of people actually looking at the Register online is dropping, according to Register figures. In each month from April through August in 2014, the number of “unique browsers” visiting the Register site was far below the year-ago figures, though the visitors looked at more pages once they accessed the site.

In April of this year, for instance, the website recorded 1,101,000 unduplicated “cookies” accessing the site, down from 1,590,224 a year earlier. The five monthly drops ranged from 45 percent in May to 31 percent in June. And the audit report notes that a cookie is not necessarily a person. …

Why is this?  I can say among Republicans, and more specifically conservatives, the Des Moines Register reflect any diversity of though.  The editorials slant to the left and most of their opinion columnists are liberal.  If you were to look up “liberal columnists” in a encyclopedia (online most likely) don’t be surprised if you find Rekha Basu’s picture by the entry.

Last fall now U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) skipped out on her scheduled sit-down interview with the editorial board.

“Recent editorials in The Des Moines Register make their position in this race perfectly clear, and it’s one that many voters across our state seem to disagree with,” Ernst spokesperson (at the time) Gretchen Hamel told the Register.

Obviously with Ernst drubbing now retired Congressman Bruce Braley it is pretty evident they don’t reflect mainstream Iowa values and their lack of an endorsement and missed interview didn’t matter.

Heck even their new publisher is liberal and apparently doesn’t even care to hide it.  David Chivers, hired as the president and publisher for The Des Moines Register in April, donated $500 to Obama for America on 9/13/2012.  On 8/1/2014 he donated $250 to the Democratic National Committee.  So I don’t think we’ll see the status quo change.

1 comment
  1. I used to have at least 1 letter to the editor a month in the Register. There was one person on the review board who fought to have my letters published. She would come back to me to have me validate the source of my opinions so she could counter the objections of the more liberal reviewers. She has retired and now I am lucky if 1 in 6 letters I write get published. But look at Rick Smith his are almost published weekly. The people who comment on the on line site are now uniformly liberal. It is a shame that they just want to print one side of everything.

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