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In the s and s the ads appealed to the increasingly affluent middle-class that sought out a variety of new products. The advertisements announced new health remedies as well as fresh foods and beverages. The latest London fashions were featured in the regional press. The availability of repeated advertising permitted manufacturers to develop nationally known brand names that had a much stronger appeal than generic products.
After the war, the major newspapers engaged in a large-scale circulation race. The political parties, which long had sponsored their own papers, could not keep up, and one after another their outlets were sold or closed down. Serious news was a niche market and added very little to the circulation base.
Consolidation was rampant, as local dailies were bought up and added to chains based in London. James Curran and Jean Seaton report:. The Times was long the most influential prestige newspaper, although far from having the largest circulation. It gave far more attention to serious political and cultural news.
The paper advocated appeasement of Hitler's demands. Candid news reports by Norman Ebbutt from Berlin that warned of warmongering were rewritten in London to support the appeasement policy. In March , however, it reversed course and called for urgent war preparations. Most of the " press barons " who owned and closely supervised major newspapers were empire builders focused on making money and extending their audience.
A few tried to exploit their captive audiences to help shape British politics, but they were largely unsuccessful. The large papers were all mildly conservative but none were organs of the Conservative Party. It was alleged that he played favourites, giving publicity to politicians he supported, and largely ignoring his enemies. Beaverbrook vehemently denied the allegations. His Empire Free Trade Crusade had little success; Beaverbrook quickly lost interest, and the new party soon vanished.
By the s, over two-thirds of the population read a newspaper every day, with "almost everyone" taking one on Sundays. A Report on the British Press from the think tank Political and Economic Planning expressed concerns that "a dangerous tendency has recently been manifesting itself by which entertainment ceases to be ancillary to news and either supersedes it or absorbs it; many people welcome a newspaper that under the guise of presenting news, enables them to escape from the grimness of actual events and the effort of thought by opening the backdoor of triviality and sex appeal. Such readers are left ill-informed and unable to participate intelligently in political debate.
The first Royal Commission on the Press recommended in that a General Council of the Press should be formed to govern the behaviour of the print media. In response to a threat of statutory regulation, the voluntary General Council of the Press was formed in , funded by newspaper proprietors. Membership was initially restricted to newspaper editors but was reformed as the Press Council in , with 20 per cent lay members.
The Council had a non-binding regulatory framework with the stated aim of maintaining high standards of ethics in journalism. In the National Union of Journalists withdrew from membership.
When he relaunched the flagging Sun newspaper in tabloid format on 17 November , Rupert Murdoch began publishing photographs of clothed glamour models on its third page. Page 3 photographs over the following year were often provocative, but did not feature nudity.
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On 17 November , editor Larry Lamb celebrated the tabloid's first anniversary by publishing a photograph of a model in the nude sitting in a field with one of her breasts visible from the side. Although these photographs caused controversy at the time, and led to the Sun being banned from some public libraries, they are partly credited with the increased circulation that established the Sun as one of the most popular newspapers in the United Kingdom by the mids. The Mirror stopped featuring topless models in the s, deeming the photographs demeaning to women.
It was hailed as Britain's first worker-controlled, mass-circulation daily, formed as a workers' cooperative by of the 1,  journalists, photographers, engineers, and print workers who were made redundant in April by Beaverbrook Newspapers when the Scottish Daily Express closed its printing operations in Scotland and moved to Manchester. The Wapping dispute was a significant turning point in the history of the trade union movement and of UK industrial relations. It started on 24 January when some 6, newspaper workers went on strike after protracted negotiation with their employers, News International parent of Times Newspapers and News Group Newspapers, and chaired by Rupert Murdoch.
News International had built and clandestinely equipped a new printing plant for all its titles in the London district of Wapping , and when the print unions announced a strike it activated this new plant with the assistance of the Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union EETPU. Despite the widespread use of the offset litho printing process elsewhere, the Murdoch papers in common with the rest of Fleet Street continued to be produced by the hot-metal and labour-intensive Linotype method, rather than being composed electronically.
Eddy Shah 's Messenger group, in a long-running and bitter dispute at Warrington had benefited from the Thatcher government's trade union legislation to allow employers to de-recognise unions, enabling the company to use an alternative workforce and new technology in newspaper production. It pioneered computer photosetting and full-colour offset printing at a time when national newspapers were still using Linotype machines and letterpress. Established national newspapers converted to electronic production and colour printing.
Today ceased publication on 17 November , the first long-running national newspaper title to close since the Daily Sketch in By , nearly all the national newspapers had abandoned Fleet Street to relocate in the Docklands, and had begun to change their printing practices to those being employed by News International. Even though the last major British news office, Reuters , left in , the term Fleet Street continues to be used as a metonym for the British national press.
The Independent was first published on 7 October The paper was created at a time of fundamental change and attracted staff from the two Murdoch broadsheets who had chosen not to move to the new headquarters in Wapping. Launched with the advertising slogan "It is. Are you? Competing in a moribund market, The Independent sparked a general freshening of newspaper design as well as a price war.
The European , billed as " Europe's first national newspaper ", was a weekly newspaper founded by Robert Maxwell. It lasted from 11 May until December The circulation peaked at ,, over half of which was British.
Petitions, Economic Legislation and Interest Groups in Britain, 1660–1800
Maxwell was litigious against those who would speak or write against him. Maxwell took out several libel actions against Private Eye. Maxwell's untimely death triggered a flood of instability with banks frantically calling in their massive loans, and his publishing empire collapsed.
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It emerged that, without adequate prior authorisation, Maxwell had used hundreds of millions of pounds from his companies' pension funds to shore up the shares of the Mirror Group, to save his companies from bankruptcy. The News International phone hacking scandal is an ongoing controversy involving the News of the World and other British newspapers published by News International , a subsidiary of Murdoch's News Corporation.
Employees of the newspaper were convicted of engaging in phone hacking , police bribery , and exercising improper influence in the pursuit of publishing stories. Advertiser boycotts contributed to the closure of the News of the World on 10 July, ending years of publication. The Leveson Inquiry was a judicial public inquiry into the British press; a series of public hearings were held throughout and The Inquiry published the Leveson Report in November , which reviewed the general culture and ethics of the British media, and made recommendations for a new, independent, body to replace the existing Press Complaints Commission , which would be recognised by the state through new laws.
During the early 21st century, many newspaper circulation dropped rapidly. The decline of the newspaper industry has been linked to the rise of internet usage in Britain. In , European Broadcasting Union research found that people in the United Kingdom trusted the written press least of any European country, by a considerable margin.
Within the United Kingdom the written press was trusted less than television and the radio. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses. Home FAQ Contact. History of British newspapers Wikipedia open wikipedia design.
For the context of journalism history, see History of journalism in the United Kingdom. For information about current British newspapers, see List of newspapers in the United Kingdom. Main article: News International phone hacking scandal.
History of British newspapers
News Media Association. Retrieved 10 November Press Gazette. Archived from the original on 27 February Retrieved 15 April National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 25 January Newspaper History. Seventeenth Century to the Present. Newspapers, Politics and English Society. A History of British Journalism.