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The Times


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The Times
TheTimes.png
The 25 August 2010 front page of The Times
Type Daily newspaper
Format Compact (Monday–Saturday)
broadsheet (Sunday)
Owner News Corporation
Editor James Harding
Founded 1 January 1785
Political alignment Moderate Conservative
Headquarters Wapping, London, UK
Circulation 502,436 March 2010[1]
ISSN 0140-0460
Official website www.thetimes.co.uk

The Times is a daily national newspaper published in the United Kingdom since 1785, when it was known as The Daily Universal Register.

The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary of News International. News International is entirely owned by the News Corporation group, headed by Rupert Murdoch. Though traditionally a moderately centre-right newspaper and a supporter of the Conservatives, it supported the Labour Party in the 2001 and 2005 general elections.[2] In 2005, according to MORI, the voting intentions of its readership were 40% for the Conservative Party, 29% for the Liberal Democrats, 26% for Labour.[3]

The Times is the original "Times" newspaper, lending its name to many other papers around the world, such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Times (Malawi), The Times of India, The Straits Times, The Times of Malta and The Irish Times. For distinguishing purposes it is therefore sometimes referred to, particularly in North America, as the 'London Times' or 'The Times of London'.[4][5] The paper is the originator of the ubiquitous Times Roman typeface, originally developed by Stanley Morison of The Times in collaboration with the Monotype Corporation for its legibility in low-tech printing.

The Times was printed in broadsheet format for 219 years, but switched to tabloid size in 2004 partly in an attempt to appeal to younger readers and partly to appeal to commuters using public transport. An American edition has been published since 6 June 2006

 

History

The Times was founded by John Walter (publisher) on 1 January 1785 as The Daily Universal Register, with Walter in the role of editor. Walter changed the title after 940 editions on 1 January 1788 to The Times. In 1803, John Walter handed ownership and editorship to his son of the same name. John Walter Sr. had already spent sixteen months in Newgate prison for libel printed in The Times, but his pioneering efforts to obtain Continental news, especially from France, helped build the paper's reputation among policy makers and financiers.

The Times used contributions from significant figures in the fields of politics, science, literature, and the arts to build its reputation. For much of its early life, the profits of The Times were very large and the competition minimal, so it could pay far better than its rivals for information or writers.

In 1809, John Stoddart was appointed general editor, replaced in 1817 with Thomas Barnes. Under Barnes and his successor in 1841, John Thadeus Delane, the influence of The Times rose to great heights, especially in politics and amongst the City of London. Peter Fraser and Edward Sterling were two noted journalists, and gained for The Times the pompous/satirical nickname 'The Thunderer' (from "We thundered out the other day an article on social and political reform.").The increased circulation and influence of the paper was based in part to its early adoption of the steam driven rotary printing press. Distribution via steam trains to rapidly growing concentrations of urban populations helped ensure the profitability of the paper and its growing influence.[6]

The Times was the first newspaper to send war correspondents to cover particular conflicts. W. H. Russell, the paper's correspondent with the army in the Crimean War, was immensely influential[7] with his dispatches back to England.

A wounded British officer reading The Times's report of the end of the Crimean war, in John Everett Millais' painting Peace Concluded.

In other events of the nineteenth century, The Times opposed the repeal of the Corn Laws[citation needed] until the number of demonstrations convinced the editorial board otherwise, and only reluctantly supported aid to victims of the Irish Potato Famine. It enthusiastically supported the Great Reform Bill of 1832 which reduced corruption and increased the electorate from 400 000 people to 800 000 people (still a small minority of the population). During the American Civil War, The Times represented the view of the wealthy classes, favouring the secessionists, but it was not a supporter of slavery.

The third John Walter (the founder's grandson) succeeded his father in 1847. The paper continued as more or less independent. From the 1850s, however, The Times was beginning to suffer from the rise in competition from the penny press, notably The Daily Telegraph and The Morning Post.

During the 19th century, it was not infrequent for the Foreign Office to approach The Times and ask for continental intelligence, which was often superior to that conveyed by official sources.[8]

The Times faced financial extinction in 1890 under Arthur Fraser Walter, but it was rescued by an energetic editor, Charles Frederic Moberly Bell. During his tenure (1890–1911), The Times became associated with selling the Encyclopædia Britannica using aggressive American marketing methods introduced by Horace Everett Hooper and his advertising executive, Henry Haxton. However, due to legal fights between the Britannica's two owners, Hooper and Walter Montgomery Jackson, The Times severed its connection in 1908 and was bought by pioneering newspaper magnate, Alfred Harmsworth, later Lord Northcliffe.

In editorials published on 29 and 31 July 1914 Wickham Steed, the Times's Chief Editor argued that the British Empire should enter World War I.[9]

On 8 May 1920, under the editorship of Wickham Steed, the Times in an editorial endorsed the anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion as a genuine document, and called Jews the world’s greatest danger. In the leader entitled "The Jewish Peril, a Disturbing Pamphlet: Call for Inquiry", Steed wrote about the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

What are these 'Protocols'? Are they authentic? If so, what malevolent assembly concocted these plans and gloated over their exposition? Are they forgery? If so, whence comes the uncanny note of prophecy, prophecy in part fulfilled, in part so far gone in the way of fulfillment?"[10].

The following year, when Philip Graves, the Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey) correspondent of the Times exposed The Protocols as a forgery, the Times retracted the editorial of the previous year.

In 1922, John Jacob Astor, a son of the 1st Viscount Astor, bought The Times from the Northcliffe estate. The paper gained a measure of notoriety in the 1930s with its advocacy of German appeasement; then-editor Geoffrey Dawson was closely allied with those in the government who practised appeasement[citation needed], most notably Neville Chamberlain.

Kim Philby, a Soviet double agent, served as a correspondent for the newspaper in Spain during the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930s. Philby was admired for his courage in obtaining high-quality reporting from the front lines of the bloody conflict. He later joined MI6 during World War II, was promoted into senior positions after the war ended, then eventually defected to the Soviet Union in 1963.[11]

Between 1941-1946, the left-wing British historian E. H. Carr served as Assistant Editor. Carr was well-known for the strongly pro-Soviet tone of his editorials.[12] In December 1944, when fighting broke out in Athens between the Greek Communist ELAS and the British Army, Carr in a Times editorial sided with the Communists, leading Winston Churchill to condemn him and that leader in a speech to the House of Commons.[13] As a result of Carr’s editorial, the Times became popularly known during World War II as the threepenny Daily Worker (the price of the Daily Worker was one penny)[14]

In 1967, members of the Astor family sold the paper to Canadian publishing magnate Roy Thomson, and on 3 May 1966 it started printing news on the front page for the first time. (Previously, the paper's front page featured small advertisements, usually of interest to the moneyed classes in British society.[citation needed]) The Thomson Corporation merged it with The Sunday Times to form Times Newspapers Limited.

An industrial dispute prompted the management to shut the paper for nearly a year (1 December 1978–12 November 1979).

The Thomson Corporation management were struggling to run the business due to the 1979 Energy Crisis and union demands. Management were left with no choice but to save both titles by finding a buyer who was in a position to guarantee the survival of both titles, and also one who had the resources and was committed to funding the introduction of modern printing methods.

Several suitors appeared, including Robert Maxwell, Tiny Rowland and Lord Rothermere; however, only one buyer was in a position to fulfil the full Thomson remit. That buyer was the Australian media baron Rupert Murdoch.

 Rupert Murdoch

In 1981, The Times and The Sunday Times were purchased from Thomson by Rupert Murdoch's News International.

Murdoch soon began making his mark on the paper, replacing its editor, William Rees-Mogg, with Harold Evans in 1981. One of his most important changes was in the introduction of new technology and efficiency measures. In March–May 1982, following agreement with print unions, the hot-metal Linotype printing process used to print The Times since the 19th century was phased out and replaced by computer input and photo-composition. This allowed the staff of the print rooms of The Times and The Sunday Times to be reduced by half[citation needed]. However, direct input of text by journalists ("single stroke" input) was still not achieved, and this was to remain an interim measure until the Wapping dispute of 1986, which saw The Times move from its home at New Printing House Square in Gray's Inn Road (near Fleet Street) to new offices in Wapping.[15]

In June 1990, The Times ceased its policy of using courtesy titles ("Mr", "Mrs", or "Miss" prefixes for living persons) before full names on first reference, but it continues to use them before surnames on subsequent references. The more formal style is now confined to the "Court and Social" page, though "Ms" is now acceptable in that section, as well as before surnames in news sections.

In November 2003, News International began producing the newspaper in both broadsheet and tabloid sizes. On 13 September 2004, the weekday broadsheet was withdrawn from sale in Northern Ireland. Since 1 November 2004, the paper has been printed solely in tabloid format.

The Conservative Party announced plans to launch litigation against The Times over an incident in which the newspaper claimed that Conservative election strategist Lynton Crosby had admitted that his party would not win the 2005 General Election. The Times later published a clarification, and the litigation was dropped.

On 6 June 2005, The Times redesigned its Letters page, dropping the practice of printing correspondents' full postal addresses. Published letters were long regarded as one of the paper's key constituents. Author/solicitor David Green of Castle Morris Pembrokeshire has had more letters published on the main letters page than any known contributor - 158 by 31 January 2008. According to its leading article, "From Our Own Correspondents", removal of full postal addresses was in order to fit more letters onto the page.

In a 2007 meeting with the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications who were investigating media ownership and the news, Murdoch stated that the law and the independent board prevented him from exercising editorial control.[16]

In May 2008 printing of The Times switched from Wapping to new plants at Broxbourne, on the outskirts of London, Merseyside and Glasgow, enabling the paper to be produced with full colour on every page for the first time.

 Controversy and image

Long considered the UK's newspaper of record, The Times is generally seen as a serious publication with high standards of journalism. It is not without trenchant critics: Robert Fisk,[17] seven time British International Journalist of the Year,[18] resigned as foreign correspondent in 1988 over what he saw as "political censorship" of his article on the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 in July 1988.

Some allege that The Times' partisan opinion pieces also damage its status as 'paper of record,' particularly when attacking interests that go against those of its parent company - News International. It recently published an opinion piece attacking the BBC for being 'one of a group of' signatories to a letter criticising BSkyB share options in October 2010[19]

 Readership profile and image

The British Business Survey 2005 named The Times as the UK's leading daily newspaper for business people. This independent survey was sponsored by The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Economist, and The Times.

The latest figures from the national readership survey show The Times to have the highest number of ABC1 25–44 readers and the largest numbers of readers in London of any of the "quality" papers.[20] The certified average circulation figures for November 2005 show that The Times sold 692,581 copies per day. This was the highest achieved under the last editor, Robert Thomson, and ensured that the newspaper remained ahead of The Daily Telegraph in terms of full rate sales, although the Telegraph remains the market leader for broadsheets, with a circulation of 905,955 copies. Tabloid newspapers, such as The Sun and middle-market newspapers such as the Daily Mail, at present outsell both papers with a circulation of around 3,005,308 and 2,082,352 respectively.[6][citation needed] By March 2010 the paper's circulation had fallen to 502,436 copies daily and the Telegraph's to 686,679, according to ABC figures.

 Format and supplements

The Times features news for the first half of the paper with the leading articles on the second page, the Opinion/Comment section begins after the first news section, the world news normally follows this. The business pages begin on the centre spread, and are followed by The Register, containing obituaries, Court & Social section, and related material. The sport section is at the end of the main paper.

Literary Supplement

The Times Literary Supplement (TLS) is a separately-paid-for weekly literature and society magazine.

 Science Reviews

Between 1951 and 1966 The Times published a separately-paid-for quarterly science review, The Times Science Review. Remarkably, in 1953 both the newspaper and its science supplement failed to report on the discovery of the structure of DNA in Cambridge, which was reported on by both the News Chronicle and The New York Times.

The Times started another new (but free) monthly science magazine, Eureka, in October 2009

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