Top 10 Most Popular Newspapers in The United Kingdom
|Top 10 most popular newspapers in the UK|
Newspapers have been widely distributed in the United Kingdom for hundreds of years. Sales rose during the 1800s and continued to do so until the middle of the 20th century, when they reached their peak circulation, however since then their readership has significantly declined.
Today, the UK's most highly circulating paper is the free sheet Metro whilst other popular titles include tabloids such as The Sun and Daily Mirror, middle market papers such as the Daily Mail and Daily Express and Broadsheet newspapers such as The Guardian and The Times.
The list of top 10 most popular newspapers in the UK
10. The Guardian
9. Financial Times
8. Daily Star
7. The Daily Telegraph
6. The Times
5. Daily Mirror
4. The Independent
3. Evening Standard
2. Daily Mail
1. The Sun
What are the most popular newspapers in the UK today?
10. The Guardian
|Photo: The Guardian|
The Guardian is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian, and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers The Observer and The Guardian Weekly, The Guardian is part of the Guardian Media Group, owned by the Scott Trust. The trust was created in 1936 to "secure the financial and editorial independence of The Guardian in perpetuity and to safeguard the journalistic freedom and liberal values of The Guardian free from commercial or political interference". The trust was converted into a limited company in 2008, with a constitution written so as to maintain for The Guardian the same protections as were built into the structure of the Scott Trust by its creators. Profits are reinvested in journalism rather than distributed to owners or shareholders.
In an Ipsos MORI research poll in September 2018 designed to interrogate the public's trust of specific titles online, The Guardian scored highest for digital-content news, with 84% of readers agreeing that they "trust what [they] see in it". A December 2018 report of a poll by the Publishers Audience Measurement Company (PAMCo) stated that the paper's print edition was found to be the most trusted in the UK in the period from October 2017 to September 2018. It was also reported to be the most-read of the UK's "quality newsbrands", including digital editions; other "quality" brands included The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, and the i. While The Guardian's print circulation is in decline, the report indicated that news from The Guardian, including that reported online, reaches more than 23 million UK adults each month.
9. Financial Times
|Photo: Finance Times|
The Financial Times (FT) is a daily newspaper printed in broadsheet and published digitally that focuses on business and economic current affairs. Based in London, England, the paper is owned by a Japanese holding company, Nikkei, with core editorial offices across Britain, the United States, and continental Europe. In July 2015, Pearson sold the publication to Nikkei for £844 million (US$1.32 billion) after owning it since 1957. In Spring 2019, it reported one million paying subscriptions, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. The newspaper has a prominent focus on financial journalism and economic analysis over generalist reporting, drawing both criticism and acclaim. The daily sponsors an annual book award and publishes a "Person of the Year" feature.
The paper was founded in 1888 as the London Financial Guide before rebranding a year later as the Financial Times. It was first circulated around metropolitan London by James Sheridan, who, along with his brother and Horatio Bottomley, sought to report on city business opposite the Financial News. The succeeding half-century competition between the two papers eventually culminated in a 1945 merger, led by Brendan Bracken, which established it as one of the largest business newspapers in the world. Globalisation from the late-19th to mid-20th century facilitated editorial expansion for the FT, with the paper adding opinion columns, special reports, political cartoons, reader letters, book reviews, technology articles, and global politics features. The paper is often characterised by its light-pink (salmon) newsprint. It is supplemented by its lifestyle magazine (FT Magazine), weekend edition (FT Weekend), and a small portfolio of industry publications.
The editorial stance of the Financial Times centres on economic liberalism, particularly free trade and free markets. Since its founding it has supported liberal democracy, favouring classically liberal politics and policies from international governments; its newsroom is independent from its editorial board. Due to its history of economic commentary, the FT publishes a variety of financial indices, primarily the FTSE All-Share Index. Since the late-20th century, its typical depth of coverage has linked the paper with a white-collar and educated readership. The Financial Times is headquartered in Bracken House at 1, Friday Street, near the city's financial centre, where it maintains its publishing house, corporate centre, and main editorial office.
8. Daily Star
|Photo: Getty Images|
The Daily Star is a daily tabloid newspaper published from Monday to Saturday in the United Kingdom since 2 November 1978. On 15 September 2002 a sister Sunday edition, Daily Star Sunday was launched with a separate staff. On 31 October 2009, the Daily Star published its 10,000th issue. Jon Clark is the editor-in-chief of the paper.
When the paper was launched from Manchester, it was circulated only in the North and Midlands. It was conceived by the then-owners of Express Newspapers, Trafalgar House, to take on the strength of the Daily Mirror and The Sun in the north. It was also intended to use the under-capacity of the Great Ancoats Street presses in Manchester as the Daily Express was losing circulation. The Daily Star sold out its first night print of 1,400,000. Its cover price has decreased over the years to compete with its rival The Sun.
The Daily Star is published by Reach plc. The paper has predominantly focused on stories revolving around celebrities, sport, and news/gossip about popular television programmes, such as soap operas and reality TV shows, though has in recent times also undertaken sensationalist front page attacks on what it sees as woke culture.
7. The Daily Telegraph
|Photo: The Telegraph|
The Daily Telegraph, known online and elsewhere as The Telegraph, is a national right-wing British daily broadsheet newspaper published in London by Telegraph Media Group and distributed across the United Kingdom and internationally.
It was founded by Arthur B. Sleigh in 1855 as The Daily Telegraph & Courier. Considered a newspaper of record over The Times in the UK when the Conservatives are in power, The Telegraph generally has a reputation for high-quality journalism, and has been described as being "one of the world's great titles".
The paper's motto, "Was, is, and will be", appears in the editorial pages and has featured in every edition of the newspaper since 19 April 1858. The paper had a circulation of 363,183 in December 2018, descending further until it withdrew from newspaper circulation audits in 2019, having declined almost 80%, much faster than industry trends, from 1.4 million in 1980. Its sister paper, The Sunday Telegraph, which started in 1961, had a circulation of 281,025 as of December 2018. The two sister newspapers are run separately, with different editorial staff, but there is cross-usage of stories.
The Telegraph has been the first newspaper to report on a number of notable news scoops, including the outbreak of World War II by rookie reporter Clare Hollingworth, described as "the scoop of the century", the 2009 MP expenses scandal – which led to a number of high-profile political resignations and for which it was named 2009 British Newspaper of the Year – and its 2016 undercover investigation on the England football manager Sam Allardyce.
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6. The Times
|Photo: Talking Retail|
The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times (founded in 1821) are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, in turn wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times, which do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, and have only had common ownership since 1966.
The Times is the first newspaper to have borne that name, lending it to numerous other papers around the world, such as The Times of India and The New York Times. In countries where these other titles are popular, the newspaper is often referred to as The London Times, or as The Times of London, although the newspaper is of national scope and distribution. It is considered a newspaper of record in the UK.
The Times had an average daily circulation of 417,298 in January 2019; in the same period, The Sunday Times had an average weekly circulation of 712,291. An American edition of The Times has been published since 6 June 2006. The Times has been heavily used by scholars and researchers because of its widespread availability in libraries and its detailed index. A complete historical file of the digitised paper, up to 2010, is online from Gale Cengage Learning.
5. Daily Mirror
|Photo: Press Gazette|
The Daily Mirror, founded in 1903, is a British national daily tabloid-sized newspaper that is considered to be engaged in tabloid-style journalism. It is owned by parent company Reach plc. From 1985 to 1987, and from 1997 to 2002, the title on its masthead was simply The Mirror. It had an average daily print circulation of 716,923 in December 2016, dropping to 587,803 the following year. Its Sunday sister paper is the Sunday Mirror. Unlike other major British tabloids such as The Sun and the Daily Mail, the Mirror has no separate Scottish edition; this function is performed by the Daily Record and the Sunday Mail, which incorporate certain stories from the Mirror that are of Scottish significance.
Originally pitched to the middle-class reader, it was converted into a working-class newspaper after 1934, in order to reach a larger audience. The Mirror has had a number of owners. It was founded by Alfred Harmsworth, who sold it to his brother Harold Harmsworth (from 1914 Lord Rothermere) in 1913. In 1963 a restructuring of the media interests of the Harmsworth family led to the Mirror becoming a part of International Publishing Corporation. During the mid-1960s, daily sales exceeded 5 million copies, a feat never repeated by it or any other daily (non-Sunday) British newspaper since. The Mirror was owned by Robert Maxwell between 1984 and 1991. The paper went through a protracted period of crisis after his death before merging with the regional newspaper group Trinity in 1999 to form Trinity Mirror.
4. The Independent
|Photo: The Independent newspaper|
The Independent is a British online newspaper. It was established in 1986 as a national morning printed paper. Nicknamed the Indy, it began as a broadsheet and changed to tabloid format in 2003. The last printed edition was published on Saturday 26 March 2016, leaving only the online edition.
It tends to take a pro-market stance on economic issues. The newspaper was controlled by Tony O'Reilly's Irish Independent News & Media from 1997 until it was sold to the Russian oligarch and former KGB Officer Alexander Lebedev in 2010. In 2017, a Saudi Arabian investor bought a 30% stake in it.
In June 2015, the newspaper had an average daily circulation of just below 58,000, 85% down from its 1990 peak, while the Sunday edition had a circulation of just over 97,000. The daily edition was named National Newspaper of the Year at the 2004 British Press Awards. The website and mobile app have a combined monthly reach of 22,939,000.
3. Evening Standard
|Photo: London Evening Standard|
The Evening Standard, formerly The Standard (1827–1904), also known as the London Evening Standard, is a local free daily newspaper in London, England, published Monday to Friday in tabloid format.
In October 2009, after being purchased by Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev, the paper ended a 180-year history of paid circulation and became a free newspaper, doubling its circulation as part of a change in its business plan. Emily Sheffield became editor in July 2020.
Since July 2020 the newspaper's editor is Emily Sheffield, sister of Samantha Cameron, who took over from the former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who has now taken over the role of editor-in-chief. As editor he had replaced Sarah Sands who, in turn, had replaced Geordie Greig following his departure to The Mail on Sunday in March 2012. Veronica Wadley was the newspaper's editor between 2002 and 2009. Max Hastings was editor from 1996 until he retired in 2002.
The London Evening Standard, although a regional newspaper, does cover national and international news, though with an emphasis on London-centred news (especially in its features pages), covering building developments, property prices, traffic schemes, politics, the congestion charge and, in the Londoner's Diary page, gossip on the social scene. It also occasionally runs campaigns on local issues that national newspapers do not cover in detail.
It has a tradition of providing arts coverage. Its best known former art critic, Brian Sewell, was known for his acerbic view of conceptual art, Britart and the Turner Prize and his views attracted controversy and criticism in the art world. He has been described as "Britain's most famous and controversial art critic".
2. Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market newspaper and online news source published in London in a tabloid format. Founded in 1896, it is the United Kingdom's highest-circulated daily newspaper. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982, while Scottish and Irish editions of the daily paper were launched in 1947 and 2006 respectively. Content from the paper appears on the MailOnline website, although the website is managed separately and has its own editor.
The paper is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. Jonathan Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere, a great-grandson of one of the original co-founders, is the current chairman and controlling shareholder of the Daily Mail and General Trust, while day-to-day editorial decisions for the newspaper are usually made by a team led by the editor, Geordie Greig, who succeeded Paul Dacre in September 2018.
A survey in 2014 found the average age of its readers was 58, and it had the lowest demographic for 15- to 44-year-olds among the major British dailies. Uniquely for a British daily newspaper, it has a majority female readership, with women making up 52–55% of its readers. It had an average daily circulation of 1,134,184 copies in February 2020. Between April 2019 and March 2020 it had an average daily readership of approximately 2.180 million, of whom approximately 1.407 million were in the ABC1 demographic and .773 million in the C2DE demographic. Its website has more than 218 million unique visitors per month.
The Daily Mail has won a number of awards, including receiving the National Newspaper of the Year award from The Press Awards eight times since 1995, winning again in 2019. It has also been noted for its unreliability and widely criticised for its printing of sensationalist and inaccurate scare stories of science and medical research, and for instances of plagiarism and copyright infringement. In February 2017, the Daily Mail became the first source to be deprecated as an "unreliable source" for use as a reference on the English Wikipedia.
1. The Sun
The Sun is a British tabloid newspaper. As a broadsheet, it was founded in 1964 as a successor to the Daily Herald, and became a tabloid in 1969 after it was purchased by its current owner. It is published by the News Group Newspapers division of News UK, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Since The Sun on Sunday was launched in February 2012, the paper has been a seven-day operation. The Sun previously had the largest circulation of any daily newspaper in the United Kingdom but it was overtaken by rival Metro in March 2018.
In 2012, The Sun on Sunday was launched to replace the closed News of the World, employing some of its former journalists. The average circulation for The Sun on Sunday in September 2019 was 1,052,465.
In February 2020, it had an average daily circulation of 1.2 million. The Sun has been involved in many controversies in its history, including its false claims about the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster. Regional editions of the newspaper for Scotland (The Scottish Sun), Northern Ireland (The Sun), and the Republic of Ireland (The Irish Sun) are published in Glasgow, Belfast, and Dublin, respectively. There is currently no separate Welsh edition of The Sun; readers in Wales receive the same edition as the readers in England.
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