The Drudge Report (which has every reason to celebrate the demise of print journalism, for several reasons) is listing the latest circulation figures for the top 20 newspapers, and the 6-month trend lines don't look too good.

The three Southern papers on the list -- Atlanta J-C, Houston Chron, St. Pete's Times -- all saw substantial losses

1. USA Today, 2,272,815, up 0.09 percent
2. The Wall Street Journal, 2,049,786, down 1 percent
3. The New York Times, 1,142,464, up 0.5 percent
4. Los Angeles Times, 851,832, down 5.4 percent
5. The Washington Post, 724,242, down 3.7 percent
6. New York Daily News, 708,477, down 3.7 percent
7. New York Post, 673,379, down 0.7 percent
8. Chicago Tribune, 579,079, up 0.9 percent
9. Houston Chronicle, 513,387, down 3.6 percent
10. The Arizona Republic, 438,722, down 2.1 percent
11. Newsday, Long Island, 427,771, down 2.7 percent
12. The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., 398,329, up 0.9 percent
13. San Francisco Chronicle, 398,246, down 15.6 percent
14. The Boston Globe, 397,288, down 8.5 percent
15. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 365,011, down 6.7 percent
16. Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul, 362,964, down 2.9 percent
17. The Philadelphia Inquirer, 350,457, down 5.1 percent
18. Detroit Free Press, 345,861, up 0.04 percent
19. The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, 343,163, down 1.6 percent
20. St. Petersburg Times, Florida, 323,031, down 4.4 percent

The Southern papers appear to be steering a middle course between the spectacular declines of the San Fran Chronicle and Boston Globe, and the papers with small losses/gains at the other end (although the Atlanta figures are shocking).

The Washington Post finds a pleasant spin to put on the news, reflected in their headline:

Washington Post profits up, circulation down

Which raises two questions: (1) What's getting cut to allow for those profits?, and (2) Is the mission of a newspaper to have readers, or make money?