National and regional newspapers
There are 12 daily newspapers and 10 Sunday newspapers in circulation in most parts of the country. National newspapers cater for a wide variety of tastes and interests. They are often described as either “qualities” or “tabloids” depending upon their format, style and content. Quality newspapers, which are broadsheet in format, cater for those readers who want detailed information on a wide range of news and current affairs. The most popular tabloid newspapers tend to appeal to those who want to read shorter, entertaining stories with more human interest, and they generally contain a larger number of photographs.
Newspapers cater for a whole range of political views, but often express a strong standpoint in favour of or against a certain party or policy in their editorial columns.
Certain British newspapers are renowned throughout the world. "The Times" is perhaps the most influential and best known. It was first published in 1785, making it Britain’s oldest daily newspaper. "The Observer", first published in 1791, is the oldest national Sunday newspaper in the world. More recent additions to the market include "The Independent" and its sister paper, "The Independent on Sunday", and "Today".
At one time London’s Fleet Street was the centre of newspaper industry, but now all the national papers have moved their editorial offices and printing plants to other parts of the capital – many to Docklands, a regenerated area to the east of the City.
A number of large publishing groups own both national and regional newspapers. There are, however, safeguards against the risk resulting from undue concentration of ownership of the media. It is unlawful to transfer a newspaper or newspaper assets to a proprietor, whose newspapers have an average daily circulation of 500,000 or more, including that of the newspaper to be taken over, without consent from the Government.
Most town and cities have their own regional newspapers. These papers mainly include stories of regional and local interest, but the dailies also cover national and international news, often looked at from a local point of view. Some of the best-known papers include the "Yorkshire Post" (Leeds), "The Northern Echo" (Darlington), "The Manchester Evening News" (Manchester). London gas ins own evening paper, "the Evening Standard", which provides Londoners with news and features covering events in the capital. Thousands of free newspapers, which are mainly financed by advertising, are distributed to homes every week.
They have enjoyed a rapid growth in recent years and have a total estimated circulation of about 37 million. There are over 100 newspapers and magazines produced by the ethnic minorities in Britain, reflecting the multi-cultural nature of today’s so ciety. Numerous newspapers and magazines from overseas are also available.
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