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Mail tries to overtake Sun

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 12 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

One month ago today, Roy Greenslade wrote a very interesting piece in the Grauniad about the Daily Mail’s increasing populist approach to reporting, and its increasing obsession with celebrity as it strives to overtake The Sun as this country’s best selling daily.

It began by listing some recent Mail headlines:

Can you guess the daily newspaper that ran these headlines last week? “Rod’s daughter, Rachel and a new love triangle”; “Just what is tormenting Toyah?”; “Becks’ little boy”; “Prince Harry on patrol”; “Rio in trouble again over stag-night rampage”; “Christmas baby for Penny and Rod”; “Go-go have a shave: George Michael at 41”; and “Big bucks Becks.”

This approach, in combination with moves like stealing Littlejohn and increasing the sports pages almost certainly help the paper to appeal to a broader base of people. But can it ever overtake The Sun? Most people think not. I’m not so sure.

Clearly, the Daily Mail has a narrower appeal than The Sun. But in an age of declining sales, my general feeling is that Mail readers will be more faithful than Sun readers. Particularly if newspaper prices are forced up by the OFT’s plans to open up distribution lines for newspapers and magazines, as seems increasingly likely. A larger core of the Daily Mail’s readers would probably be willing to pay a little more for the paper than Sun readers, who I think would be more likely to desert the paper if prices rise significantly.

So my instinct is to say that there’s a distinct possibility that the Daily Mail’s new direction could lead to it’s sales figures exceeding those of The Sun, but only by it’s sales declining more slowly, rather than a surge in circulation. Time will tell.

This 661st post was filed under: Media.






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Comments and responses

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


by sjhoward

Comment posted at 11:28 on 6th July 2005.

The more observant amongst you will notice that this is the first post in a new category, ‘Media’, created because of the increasing number of posts on that topic. In the coming days, the relevant old posts will be recategorised to fit in with this new category structure, hence grouping together all Media posts.

As with all categories, Media has it’s own dedicated page and RSS feed for those who are particularly interested in this particular category.


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