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Catholic newspaper prays to boost circulation

Staff on a Dutch Catholic newspaper are praying to attract more readers, with the editor is also calling on its 12,000 registered readers to pray to God for a circulation boost.

The paper had 20,000 readers when it launched but many were elderly and have now passed away.

Katholiek Nieuwsblad, in Den Bosch is staging a novena, nine days of devotion in the Catholic Church to obtain special graces.

"We are finding it difficult to survive," said editor Henk Rijkers. "By holding a novena we are trying to improve the quality of our newspaper because the paper deserves a place in Holland."

"We started our newspaper the day the Pope visited the Netherlands. Then we had 20,000 registered readers, mainly older people. A lot of them have died and we are trying to find new readers."

Mr Rijkers says employees will say one tenth of the rosary, ten Hail Marys, one Praise the Lord and one Lord's prayer each day during the novena.

"We've made it short on purpose," he says, "only seven minutes, because we've a paper to run as well."

Katholiek Nieuwsblad