Newspaper sales are gloomy reading

December proved to be yet another difficult month for national newspapers, with the majority of titles experiencing circulation declines.

The red-top titles continued to be the worst hit, with the Daily Mirror's circulation falling by 8.2 per cent to 1,540,917 and The Sun's down by 2.9 per cent to 3,028,732. The Sunday Mirror was down by 12.6 per cent to 1,322,720 while the News of the World's fell by 3.7 per cent to 3,380,746.

There was also very little room for cheer in the quality market, with The Guardian, The Times and The Independent all experiencing a decline. The Times' circulation was down by 3.9 per cent to 635,777, while The Guardian fell by 4 per cent to 365,635. But The Daily Telegraph's was slightly up at 899,493.

There was slightly more joy for the Sundays, as The Mail on Sunday posted a 1.2 per cent increase to 2,241,752 and The Observer grew 1.3 per cent to 435,852.

The presence of the London freesheets is being felt by the Evening Standard, which was down by 18 per cent year on year to 263,095.