British Newspapers

Newspapers have been distributed and read for hundreds of years in Great Britain, and it produces various publications for different audiences and tastes. Now, we check out some of the biggest newspapers in the UK, including The Guardian, The Times, and The Independent, and others it has to offer. Here, we explore major newspapers in the UK and navigate the world of British media. We will exhibit these newspapers' long histories in shaping digital communication in British journalism.

Matias Rodsevich  |   
2024-01-05

British newspapers

1. The Guardian

Founded in 1821 in the capital, The Guardian is an extremely influential newspaper providing independent journalism that comes from it being owned by a trust. Its readers support it through their own pockets, helping it maintain more than 1 million digital readers from around the world. It contains opinion pieces, hard-hitting takes on news, and current affairs, and is known for its music journalism.

Image of The Guardian, one of the best UK newspapers

2. The Times & The Sunday Times

John Walter I established The Times in 1785 under ‘The Daily Universal Register.’ It became ‘The Times’ three years later in 1788. Widely considered a “paper of record,’ The Times has gone on to spawn several sound-alikes (The New York Times, The India Times) and maintains significant influence and reach with its widespread availability. It continues to be a trusted source of information in contemporary journalism and it has a monthly readership of 16 million.

Image of The Times & The Sunday Times, one of the best UK newspapers

3. Evening Standard

The Evening Standard (formerly The Standard) was found in 1827. Although it covers a broad range of news and topics, readers will notice its (understandable) London-centric content and stories as it dwells on congestion charges, property prices, London politics, and building developments. But there is also more light-hearted content with celebrity gossip and star signs, also.

Image of Evening Standard, one of the best UK newspapers

4. The Sun

The Sun is probably the King of the tabloids. Starting as a broadsheet in 1964, by 1969, it had morphed into a tabloid and became the UK’s largest daily paper in circulation. It is famed for its coverage of news, sports, current affairs, and celebrity gossip. The Sun is heavily known for its tongue-in-cheek style and outlandish headlines, which have often seen it face criticism. On May 8, 1983, The Sun’s headline "US Gay Blood Plague Kills Three in Britain” drew immense criticism but was typical of attitudes of the day. The tabloid has helped shape public discourse on significant societal issues.

Image of The Sun, one of the best UK newspapers

5. Metro

Founded in 1995, Metro is a daily newspaper widely available in UK cities. It covers a variety of news, including national and international current affairs, sports, entertainment, technology, and celebrity. In the years following its launch, Metro gradually expanded its distribution to major UK cities, including Manchester and Birmingham. The newspaper is written to be a quick and convenient source of information for readers. It typically offers concise summaries of key stories.

Image of Metro, one of the best UK newspapers

6. Financial Times

The Financial Times is a globally recognized newspaper providing business, finance, and economic news from around the world, and is favored by academics and businessmen due to ita authoritative reporting and accuracy. Outside of this, it also covers tech, culture, and lifestyle. Helped by a strong international presence, which sees editions in numerous countries, it has over 1 million worldwide subscribers. The Financial Times has a liberal world view and began in 1888.

7. The Independent

When The Independent first began in 1986, it placed itself as a non-partisan outlet that garnered a reputation for investigative journalism, a distinctive editorial stance, and in-depth analysis on a range of issues and topical events.

It became the first UK national newspaper to go digital only in 2016, following the growth of online readership and news consumption this way. The paper has had a colorful ownership,
having once been owned by the former KGB Officer Alexander Lebedev. Today, it is one of Britain's premier left-wing news outlets.

Image of The Independent, one of the best UK newspapers

8. City A.M

Established in 2005, City A.M. has a reputation for emphasizing the financial and business sectors. It is mainly distributed in London and Canary Wharf, targeting the commuting audience and professionals in these financial districts. It has an easily accessible style and lands on readers' laps for free, relying instead on advertising revenue to sustain it. This approach has led to it reaching broader audiences.

9. Manchester Evening News

Manchester Evening News is a regional northwest newspaper that focuses on covering news in the city of Manchester and the surrounding area. Featuring an array of topics, from local news, and entertainment, to proudly covering its many sports teams, it has the status of being one of the oldest daily regional papers in the country.

Born in 1868, it now provides both digital and print versions to entertain and inform its readers. The newspaper plays a vital role in reporting on and shaping public opinion in the region.

10. The Economist

The Economist is a British weekly publication tackling such topics as current affairs, the political spectrum, science, and tech, where it offers insights, interviews, and opinions. It specializes in data journalism. The Economist was founded in 1843 and has a subscription base of about 1.1 million. Starting as a political protest paper, its since gone on to include opinion pieces, cartoons, and book reviews. Its design also expanded. Issued every week, its distinguishing layout and branding is instantly recognized.

Image of The Economist, one of the best UK newspapers

11. The Scottish Sun

The Scottish Sun was created as a Scottish edition of The Sun. Like its English cousin, it provides news, sports, and entertainment news. It was first published in 1987. It refers to itself as an “instigator, an entertainer, a cultural reference point, a finger on the pulse, and a daily relationship.” The Scottish Sun was introduced to provide news and content tailored to Scotland. The newspaper has become a prominent source of information for Scottish readers, maintaining a focus on both national and international news, as well as local events and issues.

12. The Art Newspaper

Discovered in 1990 and with headquarters in London and New York, The Art Newspaper in a monthly outlet covering news and events in the world of art. It gives coverage to the most popular and important art events in the world, such as Art Basel and Frieze. You’ll also find interesting discussions on a range of topics related to art, on issues like art and heritage damage during war, and the trade in illicitly excavated antiquities. It has since expanded to such places as Greece, China, and France, the latter its due to move its headquarters to.

13. The Mirror UK

This British tabloid, known also as The Daily Mirror, serves up a broad range of international and national news, politics, lifestyle, and entertainment. A popular paper, it often uses a sensationalist reporting style to attract readers. The paper began all the way back in 1903, and, despite various guises and transformations, remains a popular tabloid in the country.

14. The i

The i newspaper was first established in 2010 as a partner paper to The Independent. It was introduced as a budget-friendly, condensed version of The Independent, catering to readers who wanted a quick and accessible daily news source. The i gained popularity for its straightforward format and focus on key news stories. The newspaper covers featured topics such as current affairs, culture, opinion, money, and sports. It aims to provide readers with a compact yet comprehensive overview of important stories.

15. Liverpool Echo

The Liverpool Echo is a daily newspaper that covers news and events in Liverpool. It provides coverage on a wide range of topics, including local news, sports, entertainment, and community events. Established in 1879, the newspaper is a prominent source of news for the Liverpool region. It has played a vital role in reporting on local issues, events, and developments, maintaining a strong connection with the local community.

Navigating british newspapers

Our journey unravels a compelling narrative of tradition and innovation within the landscape of British media through this list of newspapers. From current affairs analyzes to reflections on the cultural climate, these newspapers have played significant roles in shaping the narrative of news for the national public.

FAQ

Metro is the largest British newspaper with a circulation of around 900,000 in 2023. Metro is a tabloid newspaper owned by DMG Media that publishes daily print issues. The paper's free distribution model is partially responsible for its success which has made it popular among commuters. Its advertising revenue keeps the printed newspaper afloat because it tallies 50% of advertising revenue compared to the number of pages. While the paper doesn’t include in-depth reporting and investigative pieces, Metro succeeds with short excerpts of breaking news coverage of the main events of the day.

The paper released its online paper in 2001 operated by a separate organization and has two mobile apps, one that focuses on football news and the other on celebrity news.

The London Gazette, known at the time as The Oxford Gazette is the oldest British newspaper and one that has been continuously published since 1665. This claim has been contested by various other newspapers in the UK including Stamford Mercury, The Times, and Berrow’s Worcester Journal. The paper dispatched news as the first official newspaper of the Crown, acting as a government bulletin with news about the English Civil War, official notices, and announcements from the courts and capital.

The London Gazette has transformed in the digital era, focusing on parliament news, military promotions, and royal announcements. Its official public record is available online on its website with a wide archive where the publication posts over 400 different types of notices that are announced to The Gazette.

Media ownership rules in the UK vary from other countries, however, they follow common practices and regulations. The main emphasis in British media ownership is competition and antitrust laws established by the Parliament. It runs on a parallel merger method where a company cannot merge with another if it means that the acquisition will substantially reduce competition in the market.

In terms of cross-media ownership, media companies are restricted from owning Channel 3, the British free-public broadcast television network, and national newspapers. This is to uphold diversity in media where citizens can access a variety of news and information from different sources.

British media ownership is heavily concentrated with the majority of the ownership falling in the hands of fewer companies. British media is dominated by three major companies: DMG Media, News UK, and Reach. Despite laws on media ownership, these three companies own 90% of national newspapers in the UK. The same pattern goes for the ownership of local newspapers, where over 70% of the local newspapers are owned by six companies.

Most major newspapers in the UK are owned by large corporations rather than independent owners. DMG Media is the largest commercial news publisher, owning 46% of the share of the daily print newspaper market, followed by News UK, Reach, and TMG. These large corporations have a monopoly in the media and print market.

The best way to reach out to British newspapers is to find contacts online on the publication's website. Most publications have a dedicated page where it provides email addresses and phone numbers for interesting stories and editorials. These sources will also name the writers and editors of each section with their contact information.

Matias Rodsevich
CEO of PRHive
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