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Facts about local newspapers

• Eighty-two per cent of adults, 40 million people, read a local newspaper, making it the
most widely read medium in the country (BMRB/TGI 2008).
Monthly unique users for
regional press websites are estimated at over 24.4m (Annual Industry Survey 2007).
As a
source of information about the local area in which people live, local newspapers are three
times more popular than the next medium BBC TV news. (Press Gazette/YouGov
More than 3,040 local newspapers are sold in the UK every minute (Advertising
Statistics Yearbook 2008).
There are 1,300 local newspapers and 1,200 associated websites
in the UK.
Regional newspapers in print and online account for 50 per cent of all
recruitment spend (Advertising Statistics Yearbook 2008).
Local newspapers and their
associated websites are 49 per cent more trusted and relied-upon than the nearest
medium, commercial TV (the wanted ads III 2007).
£651 million is spent each year buying
local newspapers (Advertising Statistics Yearbook 2008).
Advertising on local newspaper
websites is 77 per cent more likely to be believed and relied-
upon than advertising on
other websites (the wanted ads III 2007).
74.6 per cent per cent of people aged between
and 15 and 24 read a local newspaper (BMRB/TGI 2008).
History up to 1907
• 1476 William Caxton sets up the first English printing press in Westminster.
• 1549 First known English newsletter: Requests of the Devonshyre and Cornyshe Rebelles.
• 1621 First titled newspaper, Corante, published in London.
• 1649 Cromwell suppressed all newsbooks on the eve of Charles I's execution.
• 1690 Worcester Postman launched. (In 1709 it starts regular publication as Berrow's Worcester Journal, considered to be the oldest surviving English newspaper).
• 1702 Launch of the first regular daily newspaper: The Daily Courant.
• 1709 First Copyright Act; Berrow's Worcester Journal, considered the oldest surviving English newspaper, started regular publication.
• 1712 First Stamp Act; advertisement, paper and stamp duties condemned as taxes on knowledge. Stamford Mercury believed to have been launched.
• 1718 Leeds Mercury started (later merged into Yorkshire Post).
• 1737 Belfast News Letter founded (world's oldest surviving daily newspaper).
• 1748 Aberdeen Journal began (Scotland's oldest newspaper - now the Press & Journal).
• 1772 Hampshire Chronicle launched, Hampshire's oldest paper.
• 1788 Daily Universal Register (est. 1785) became The Times.
• 1791 The Observer launched.
• 1835 Libel Act; truth allowed as defence for first time in Britain.
• 1836 The Newspaper Society founded.
• 1844 The Southport Visiter first published.
• 1848 The first issue of the Brechin Advertiser was published on Tuesday 3 October 1848.
• 1853 Ormskirk Advertiser and Birkenhead News first published.
• 1855 Stamp duty abolished. Daily Telegraph started as first penny national. Manchester Guardian, The Scotsman and Liverpool Post became daily. Shields Gazette is the first of 17
regional evenings founded this year.
• 1868 Press Association set up as a national news agency.
• 1889 First Official Secrets Act
• 1905 Harmsworth (then Northcliffe) bought The Observer
• 1906 Newspaper Proprietors Association founded for national dailies.
• 1907 National Union of Journalists founded as a wage-earners union.