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The Times
Front page from a 17 October 2007 edition
Type Daily newspaper
Format Compact (Monday–Saturday)
broadsheet (Sunday)
Owner News Corporation
Editor James Harding
Founded 1 January 1785
Headquarters Wapping, London, UK
Circulation 505,062 February 2010[1]
ISSN 0140-0460
Official website www.timesonline.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 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 newspaper was printed in broadsheet format for 219 years, but switched to compact 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.[4]



The newspaper's cover price in the United Kingdom is £1 on weekdays (30p for students at some university campus shops) and £1.50 on Saturday. The Times's sister paper, The Sunday Times, is a broadsheet and priced at £2.00. Although The Times and The Sunday Times are both owned by News International, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp, they do not share editorial staff, were founded independently and have shared the same owner only since 1967. In November 2006 The Times began printing headlines in its new font, Times Modern.



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 3,274,855 and 2,353,807 respectively.[6] In the face of competition from the Internet and 24-hour TV news channels, by February 2010 circulation of The Times had fallen to 505,062 copies daily and the Telegraph to 685,177 (ABC)


The Times was founded by John Walter 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.[7]

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[8] 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.

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. 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.[10]

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[11]. 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[12]. 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)[13]

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 a business under the grip of the print unions at the height of union powers. Union demands were increasingly difficult to meet. 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.

Both papers had their survival guaranteed and it marked a significant own goal for the radical elements within the Trade Union movement.

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.[14]

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. According to its leading article, "From Our Own Correspondents", this 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.[15]

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, however: Robert Fisk,[16] seven times British International Journalist of the Year[citation needed], 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.[citation needed]

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. An analysis of The Times reader demographic (based on NMA figures, news agenda and advertising in the paper) for 2009 can be seen in this study

Format and supplements

The main section of The Times features news in the first half of the paper and editorial on its second page, with the Comment section midway through the main news, and world news following after 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, with the Times Crossword puzzle on the inside back cover.

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.


The Times's main supplement was the times2, featuring various lifestyle columns. It was discontinued on 01 March 2010, most of its regular features being absorbed into the main paper, the puzzles into a new supplement called Mind Games. Its previous incarnation began on 5 September 2005, before which it was called T2 and previously Times 2. Regular features included columns by a different columnist each weekday. There was a column by Marcus du Sautoy each Wednesday, for example. The back pages were devoted to puzzles and contain sudoku, "Killer Sudoku", "KenKen", word polygon puzzles, and a crossword simpler and more concise than the main "Times Crossword". The penultimate page was "Young Times", with puzzles and news for children. All these features are now found in Mind Games.

The supplement also contained arts and lifestyle features, TV and radio listings and reviews which have now become their own weekly supplements.

The Game

The Game is included in the newspaper on a Monday, and details all the weekend's association football activity (Premier League and Football League Championship, League One and League Two.) The Scottish edition of The Game also includes results and analysis from Scottish Premier League games.

Saturday supplements

The Saturday edition of The Times does not carry the times2 supplement, instead coming with a variety of supplements. These supplements were relaunched in January 2009 as: Sport, Weekend (including travel and lifestyle features), Saturday Review (arts, books, and ideas), The Times Magazine (columns on various topics), and Playlist (an entertainment listings guide).

Saturday Review is the first regular supplement published in broadsheet format again since the paper switched to a compact size in 2004.

The Times Magazine features columns touching on various subjects such as celebrities, fashion and beauty, food and drink, homes and gardens or simply writers' anecdotes. Notable contributors include Giles Coren, Food And Drink Writer of the Year in 2005.


The Times, along with the British Film Institute, sponsors the London Film Festival (or more specifically, The Times bfi London Film Festival). As of 2005, it is Europe's largest public event for motion pictures.

The Times also sponsors the Cheltenham Festival of Literature and the Asia House Festival of Asian Literature at Asia House, London



Editor's name Years
John Walter 1785–1803
John Walter, 2nd 1803–1812
John Stoddart 1812–1816
Thomas Barnes 1817–1841
John Delane 1841–1877
Thomas Chenery 1877–1884
George Earle Buckle 1884–1912
George Geoffrey Dawson 1912–1919
Henry Wickham Steed 1919–1922
George Geoffrey Dawson 1923–1941
Robert McGowan Barrington-Ward 1941–1948
William Francis Casey 1948–1952
William Haley 1952–1966
Lord Rees-Mogg 1967–1981
Harold Evans 1981–1982
Charles Douglas-Home 1982–1985
Charles Wilson 1985–1990
Simon Jenkins 1990–1992
Peter Stothard 1992–2002
Robert Thomson 2002–2007
James Harding 2007–

Current columnists and journalists

Other publications

( Times Books Group Ltd)

  • The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, 2007 ISBN 978-0-00-780150-3


In fiction

  • In the dystopian future world of George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty Four", The Times had been transformed into the organ of the totalitarian ruling party, its editorials - of which several are quoted in the book - reflecting Big Brother's pronouncements.
  • Rex Stout's fictional detective Nero Wolfe is described as fond of solving the London Times' crossword puzzle at his New York home, in preference to those of American papers.
  • In the James Bond series, written by Ian Fleming, The title character, James Bond, reads The Times. As described by Fleming in From Russia With Love- "The Times was the only paper that Bond ever read."

Notes and references

  1. ^ Tryhorn, Chris (9 May 2008). "April ABCs: Financial Times Dips for Second Month". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/may/09/abcs.pressandpublishing1. Retrieved 24 May 2008. 
  2. ^ FT.com / News in depth / UK Election - Election 2005: What the papers said
  3. ^ "MORI survey of newspaper readers". http://www.ipsospublicaffairs.co.uk/researchpublications/researcharchive/poll.aspx?oItemId=755. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  4. ^ a b Eric Pfanner (27 May 2006). "Times of London to Print Daily U.S. Edition". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/27/business/media/27paper.html. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  5. ^ Fighting, fornication and fiction, Times Higher Education, 26 May 2000
  6. ^ "Summary Report, Daily Mail - 01-Oct-2007 to 28-Oct-2007". Audited Bureau of Circulations (ABC). 2007. http://www.abc.org.uk/cgi-bin/gen5?runprog=nav/abc&noc=y. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  7. ^ Claire Lomas, "The Steam Driven Rotary Press, The Times and the Empire"
  8. ^ Philip Knightley, The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist, and Myth-maker from the Crimea to the Gulf War II
  9. ^ Ferguson, Niall The Pity of War page 217 London: Basic Books, 1999 page 217
  10. ^ Treason in the Blood, by Anthony Cave Brown, 1995.
  11. ^ Beloff, Max "The Dangers of Prophecy" pages 8-10 from History Today, Volume 42, Issue # 9, September 1992 page 9
  12. ^ Davies, Robert William "Edward Hallett Carr, 1892-1982" pages 473-511 from Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 69, 1983 page 489
  13. ^ Haslam, Jonathan "We Need a Faith: E.H. Carr, 1892-1982" pages 36-39 from History Today, Volume 33, August 1983 page 37
  14. ^ Alan Hamilton, "The Times bids farewell to old technology". The Times, 1 May 1982, pg. 2, col. C.
  15. ^ "Minute of the meeting with Mr Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, News Corporation". Inquiry into Media Ownership and the News. New York: House of Commons Select Committee on Communications. 17 September 2007. pp. 10. http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/us.doc. 
  16. ^ Robert Fisk, 2005. The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East. London: Fourth Estate, pp329-334. ISBN 1-84115-007-X
  17. ^ Detail from a copy of Good Times, Bad Times, first published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson London in 1983 with an ISBN 0 297 78295 9

External links

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