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News and opinion from The Times & The Sunday Times.


The Times is an influential British daily newspaper, one of the oldest in the world. Founded in 1785 by John Walter. The newspaper is owned by News Corporation, led by Rupert Murdoch. Historically considered a conservative newspaper, it supported the Labor Party in elections in 2001 and 2005. Since its inception, it has been published in a wide format for 219 years, but in 2004 it switched to a compact format with the intention of extending its influence to younger audiences.

The Times was the first newspaper to have the word "time" in its name. It was founded on January 1, 1785 as The Daily Universal Register. From the beginning of 1788, The Times was added to the title, and for several months the newspaper was renamed The Daily Universal Register or The Times. The cumbersome addition was later discarded, leaving only The Times.

The newspaper naturally appeared during the marketing project. A printer named John Voltaire decided to publish leaflets with the revolutionary method of printing at the time - logography. The method was based on the use of prefabricated blocks of words and typical combinations of letters, in contrast to previously used single letters. It was believed that this would speed up the recruitment process, but in practice it turned out that the new method takes as much time as the old one, and it was quickly abandoned.

However, when Rupert Murdoch introduced new printing technology in the mid-1980s, he inadvertently continued a long tradition of rationalization. In 1814, the Times was the first newspaper to be printed by steam on a Koenig and Bauer machine. Prior to that, newspapers were printed by hand. When John Voltaire II saw Koenig's car in action, he realized that this device would allow him to increase the circulation of the newspaper, which until then was limited to four and a half thousand, and give him the opportunity to give the latest news.

Then came other achievements of scientific and technological progress of the XIX century. Voltaire's creation of a new printing press in 1860 allowed the newspaper to be printed simultaneously on both sides, which greatly increased its productivity. The Times was therefore the first English newspaper to be delivered on December 11, 1849, by train to Paris at 1:30 a.m. on the day of its publication.

Voltaire did everything to make the newspaper "interesting to all readers." In his first editorial, he states that “a newspaper should be a chronicler of time, a faithful chronicler of all manifestations of the human mind, it should not focus on just one event, but, like a well-served table, should have in its arsenal dishes at any time. what a taste and, avoiding weaknesses, stick to the golden mean.

In 1852, the Delaine Doctrine formulated the basic principles of the newspaper. Lord Derby appealed to the newspaper's leadership: "If we (the government) and you work for a single country, the newspaper must support the country." To which Delaine replied: "The authorities are hiding the reasons for their actions, while journalism lives by exposing. The government serves the party, the newspaper serves the people. " Thus the formula of independence of the press from the power was formulated.

The Times was the first newspaper to send military correspondents to cover specific conflicts. Russell, a newspaper correspondent, was with the army in the Crimean War, so he became very influential thanks to his letters to England.

In other events of the nineteenth century, the Times opposed the repeal of bread laws and helped victims of the Irish potato famine. She enthusiastically supported the Great Reform Bill of 1832, which reduced corruption and increased the electorate from 400,000 to 800,000. During the American Civil War, the Times represented the interests of the wealthy, but was not a supporter of slavery.

From the 1850s, the Times began to suffer from increasing competition from the penny press, including The Daily Telegraph and the Morning Post.

The newspaper belonged to the Voltaire family until 1908, when it was sold to the newspaper magnate Lord Northcliff, although a small stake in the Voltaire was retained until 1966. Lord Northcliff (nee Alfred Charles William Harmsworth) began as a freelance journalist and later founded several popular gas companies. , including Daily_Mail (1896) and Daily Mirror (1903). In the early 1900's, a black line began for the Times: it began to lose money and readers. Northcliff replaced obsolete printing equipment and reduced the newspaper's price from three pence to two and then to one.

After Northcliff's death in 1921, the newspaper was sold to John Jacob Astor, the youngest son of Lord Astor and the great-great-grandson of an American fur trader who later became a multimillionaire. The newspaper remained in the hands of this family until the mid-1960s, when it experienced another period of decline. Circulation dropped to 228,000, advertising revenue was low and the future uncertain. There was talk of a merger between the Times and the Financial Times. But Roy Thomson - the first press baron Thomson, who stood at the origins of the concern - intervened and saved the newspaper. This was in 1966.

No less a significant figure than his predecessors, Thomson was the son of a hairdresser from Toronto. He once opened a radio station to increase radio sales, a story similar to John Voltaire's strategy two centuries earlier. The radio station grew into an information empire, which included companies from Canada, the United States and Great Britain. Kenneth Thomson succeeded his father in 1976. The Times remained part of Thomson's group until 1981, when in February it passed into the hands of Australian media mogul Murdoch.

1981 to the present
By his decision to modernize the newspaper, Murdoch snatched the British newspaper industry from the "dark Middle Ages". Fleet Street printing presses were obsolete, some of which had been in operation since the 1930s, and work on them in cramped and dirty rooms. Historians and media commentators have agreed that moving to Woping, no matter how painful it was at the time, became a necessity.

Despite the rapid modernization that came with the Murdoch era, in the early 90's The Times found itself on the sidelines of the British newspaper landscape. The conservative Daily Telegraph, with a circulation of almost a million, was the leader of the influential press, while the Times had to reduce its sales by hundreds of thousands.

It was believed that the newspaper was read mainly by wealthy middle-aged people. It was a "newspaper for the upper world" - a bulletin board of the establishment. The task was to make it more accessible without losing any of the fundamental principles - quality, accuracy and credibility. Another intention was to conquer the market of 25-44-year-olds - the main target group of advertisers.

Therefore, in 1933 the price of the newspaper dropped from 45 to 30 pence, then, in 1994, fell to 20 pence. As this strategy progressed, the Times worked hard on the content. Everyone acknowledged her high level of coverage, political and business news, but now her articles have become even sharper and clearer. More attention was paid to sports life. Steps have been taken to win over a female audience. Wanting to draw readers' attention to these changes, in 1966 the newspaper launched an advertising campaign under the slogan "Time of Change". The strategy was successful and from 1993 to 1998 the circulation increased by 31%. And the volume of advertising has tripled. Now the price of the Times is 50 cents.

In May 2008, the Times switched to full-color printing of each page. 382,198 copies of the newspaper are sold every day.
By the beginning of the First World War, its circulation had risen to 278 thousand (at the beginning of the decade it was 38 thousand).