Some Newspaper Origins

Peter A. Clark

Newspaper losses and changes of management are making the headlines. Under these circumstances it is worth recognizing the durability of the national and regional newspapers. The earliest extant national newspaper is, of course, The Times but this was antedated by the Daily Courant which was founded in London in 1702. Both were beaten by the regional weeklies, Norwich Post and Berrow's Worcester Postman, which dispute the claim to be the first English weekly newspaper.

A number of these national newspapers have maintained a purity of lineage which might be considered a demonstration of strength or lethargy. Even those national newspapers that have been party to amalgamations or takeovers never reflect these previous struggles in their titles.

TABLE 1: CURRENT TITLES AND DATES OF FIRST ISSUE

The Times 1788 as Daily Universal Register 1785
Observer 1791
Guardian 1957 as Manchester Guardian 1821
Sunday Times 1822
News of the World 1843
Daily Telegraph 1855
Sunday People 1881 formerly People
Financial Times 1888 as Financial News 1884
Daily Mail 1896
Daily Express 1900
Daily Mirror 1903
Sun 1964 as Daily Herald 1912
Sunday Mirror 1963 as Sunday Pictorial 1915
Sunday Express 1918
Sunday Telegraph 1961
Daily Star 1978