Newspapers are a big part of the British culture and it is said the paper you read says a lot about you regarding where you sit politically and the type of person you are with regards to your class, if you believe such a thing exists. Individuals are often judged on the paper they buy.
Here in Spain, whilst the paper readership still follows similar patterns, price can be a deciding figure as the cost can be substantially higher than the pound equivalent in UK. Where have you seen The Sun on sale here for 10c? So let’s take a look at the newspaper you read and what it might say about you.
The Times – “Read by people who run the country”
According to psychometric testing on Times readers they are said to be “more intuitive and thinking types”. The circulation in Spain is certainly low compared with other newspapers and does not reflect the same percentage readership in UK. The Times is published by a subsidiary of News International and was first published in 1785 and was known as The Daily Universal Register. Politically it is thought to be moderately centre right and a supporter of The Tories, although it did support Labour in the 2001 and 2005 elections.
After 219 years as a broadsheet the paper moved to a tabloid format in 2004 to appeal to younger readers. Originally known as “Times” it lends its name to many other world papers such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Times of India. It is often referred to, particularly in North America as The London Times. It is the UK’s leading newspaper for business people and has the highest number of ABC1 readers – junior managerial to higher managerial occupations.
The Financial Times – “Read by the people who own the country”Readers of the Financial Times are more thinking types than non-readers. The paper is an international business paper and was first published in 1888 as the London Financial Guide. It is published as a broadsheet on salmon pink coloured paper and it is the only UK paper providing full daily reports on the London Stock Market and world markets.
Politically it favours free markets and is in favour of globalization. During the 1980s it favoured the monetary policies of Thatcher and Reagan but in the UK aligns itself with the Labour party. However, it did criticize the Tories in 2010 but stated it would support them in that election. It has an average circulation of 75,665 in the UK and 432,944 internationally.
The Guardian – “Read by people who know things would be better for everyone if they were running the country”
Although they might like to think so, Guardian readers as a group do not show any clear or significant differences than the general population. The paper was originally The Manchester Guardian and was founded in 1821 by a group of non-conformist businessmen. Politically the newspaper is left of centre and in the 2010 election supported the Labour Party. It is said it has the highest on-line readership of any English language paper in the world. It’s Sunday sister newspaper in The Observer.
In 2009 the paper had an average daily circulation of 358,844 compared with 617,483 for The Times. It was originally a weekly paper but in 1855 printed daily. It is now printed in what is known as “midi” format, slightly larger than tabloid size. The newspaper has a nickname of “The Grauniad”, which played on its reputation for regular typographical errors, such as mis-spelling its own name as “The Gaurdian”. The web domain thegrauniad.co.uk is registered to the newspaper.
The Daily Telegraph – “Read by people who remember how they used to run the country and The Empire”
Readers of The Daily Telegraph are more likely to be perceptive and extroverted types. It is still printed as a broadsheet and was first published in 1855 as The Daily Telegraph and Courier. The paper has the highest circulation of any British broadsheet or former broadsheet, such as The Times with average UK daily circulation of 842,912. Politically, the newspaper is conservative, so much so it is often known as The Torygraph.
The newspaper was the first UK paper to launch on-line in 1994 and more recently one of its biggest scoops was the MP´s expenses scandals, which resulted in many high profile political resignations.
The Independent – “Read by people who do not know who runs the country but are sure they’re doing it wrong”
Independent readers are said to be more intuitive types than non-readers. The Independent is one of the youngest British newspapers, printed for the first time in 1986. It was originally printed as a broadsheet but since 2003 is now printed in tabloid format, or compact as the paper prefers to call it. The Independent is said to lean to the left politically but does not affiliate itself to any political party. Originally, it was aimed at the political centre looking to take readership from The Times and The Daily Telegraph. It has an average UK daily circulation of 183,547.
It was launched with the advertising slogan, “It is. Are you?” and is known as The Indy with the Sunday Independent, its sister paper, as The Sindy. The paper has a reputation for unorthodox and campaigning front pages and is nicknamed The Indescribablyboring.
The Daily Mail – “Read by the spouses of the people running the country”
Psychometrically, there is no significant difference between readers of The Daily Mail and those who don’t read it. First published in 1896 as a broadsheet it is the UK’s second biggest selling newspaper after The Sun with average daily readership of 1,993,698. and is the biggest selling British paper in Spain. It was aimed at the newly literate "lower-middle class market resulting from mass education, combining a low retail price with plenty of competitions, prizes and promotional gimmicks". It was aimed at women at outset and still has a UK readership of more than 50% women. It was the first newspaper to hit 1 million in daily sales.
Politically the newspaper is conservative and sometimes thought to be right of Attila the Hun, probably because of its apparent pre-war support by the then owner, Lord Rothermere, for Hitler and Mussolini. The paper was also sympathetic to Oswald Mosley and The British Union of Fascists. Nicknamed The Daily Hate or Hate Mail as the founder, Lord Northcliffe, said its winning formula gave its readers a “daily hate”.
The Daily Express – “Read by people who think the country should be run how it used to be”
Readers are said to be “sensing” types – focusing on information gleaned from the five senses and practical applications. It was founded in 1900 as a broadsheet before switching to tabloid in 1977 and politically is a right wing paper. It has a circulation of 671,414 in UK and was the first British newspaper to print a crossword.
Richard Desmond took over the paper in 2000, which led to much controversy as he owned many pornographic publications as well as the most popular UK pornographic TV channel, Television X. It has a reputation of printing front page stories relating to conspiracy theories around Princess Diana’s death and has been nicknamed Diana Express or Di’ly Express. In November 2006, while all other papers reported the death sentence handed to Saddam Hussain the Express led with “Spies Cover Up Diana ‘Murder’ “.
The Daily Mirror – “Read by people who know that they, the working class, really run the country”
Readers are said to be “sensing” types like the Daily Express. It was founded in 1903 as a newspaper run by women for women and was meant to be “a mirror of feminine life”, hence the name. Politically, it has consistently supported the Labour Party since 1945 and has a UK circulation of 1,242,446.
Twice in its history it has changed its name to just The Mirror and has changed the red top mast to black to disassociate itself from “red top” journalism. It has since changed back to the traditional red top. Nicknamed The Moron after its previous editor Piers Morgan’ s nickname Piers “Moron” Morgan and Kenneth Clarke’s description of The Mirror as “a paper read by morons”.
The Sun – “Read by people who don’t care who run the country so long as they do it topless”
Readers are sensing or perceiving types and has the largest readership in the UK and tenth worldwide with 3,009,987 readers, 2.9m in the ABC1 demographic. The Sun was first published as a broadsheet in 1964 before becoming a tabloid in 1969 and is famed for its headlines including, “Freddie Star Ate My Hamster”, “Stick It Up Your Junta” during the Falklands war and “If Kinnock Wins Today Will The Last Person To Leave Britain Please Turn Out The Lights”. The first topless Page 3 girl appeared in 1970 and was German born Stephanie Rahn.
Politically it was initially a Labour supporter but became an ardent supporter of Thatcher and followed the Conservative Party. The paper supported Blair in the 1997 election and subsequent elections before backing the Tories in 2009. Nicknamed The Buttered Bun or Super Soar Away Sun after its ad campaign.
The Daily Star – “Read by people who think The Sun is a bit too upmarket”
Readers are sensing types and the paper was launched in 1978 where it sold out its first print run of 1,400,000. Predominantly a right wing paper little is written about the paper as it’s doubtful whether it really contains any real news causing controversy with people such as Jeffrey Archer, the McCanns and Gatwick airport where the paper was removed after showing a computer generated image of a plane going through an ash cloud just after flights started again after the ash cloud from the Iclandic volcano.
The Daily Sport – “Read by people who think that Elvis is running the country from his secret lunar bunker assisted by a team of topless aliens”
The Sport readers are more likely to be intuitive and perceiving types. It can barely be called a newspaper and focuses on celebrities bad behavior and toilet humour. Famous for headlines such as “World War Two Bomber Found On Moon” and fake pictures of naked calebrities. Circulation is only about 84,000 and is more closely linked to “lads mags” such as Loaded and Viz.