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Thursday, 4 November 2010

News Agenda - Professor Peter Cole on Mid-Market Newspapers

In his series of articles that were published in 2007, Professor Peter Cole wrote about UK newspapers at a time when a decline in their sales started to show, but with their influence on the public and the media in general still clear. In the first edition of this series, he speaks about The Daily Express and its decline from the dominance it enjoyed between the ‘1930s to the 1960s’. As i will be closely observing The Daily Express in the next few weeks, I found this part in the series particularly interesting.

The Daily Express
Peter Cole blames the changes of ownership and switches between party supports for the decline in the newspapers sales. It no longer had an established audience as they were unable to remain loyal when such drastic changes were happening. They were eventually taken over by Lord Clive Hollick in 1996 which (being a labour supporter) switched the newspapers allegiance to New Labour and liberalism (instead of the monarchy). Despite ‘editor’ - Peter Hill’s attempts to return back to the Tories, the sales still tumbled. The Daily Express is now known for its consistent ‘news stories’ regarding Princess Diana, and producing a number of conspiracy theories.

In this article, Coles views its rival in the ‘mid market’ which is The Daily Mail. Despite dominating the market in the 80’s, The Daily Express has now fallen far behind The Daily Mail in terms of number of sales. Aswell as this it also has the highest number of female readers out of any other newspaper in the country.
Cole also claims that The Mail spends most of its promotional budget on free dvds and cds for their readers which are mainly directed towards a family target audience. At the time of publoshing this article(2007) he claims that 40% of its readers are over 55, and 60% over 45 which suggests that they can afford to maintain and older style with older opinions as they do not yet need to appeal to a younger audience to boost sales.
It is quite widely accepted that The Daily Mail is viewed as prejudice. The readers are believed to be for Britain and against Europe; 'more concerned with punishment than the causes of crime; against public ownership and for the private sector; against liberal values and for traditional values, particularly marriage and family life. It puts achievement above equality of opportunity and self-reliance above dependence.'


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