British Mass Media
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British people are great readers of newspapers. Britain is one of the few countries where daily newspapers are delivered at the door before breakfast.
There are national, regional, and local newspapers, dailies and weeklies, morning and evening papers.
The national papers can be divided into two main groups: quality paper and popular papers. Some popular papers are called „tabloids“. Quality papers like The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer, The Financial Times, The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph report national and international news very thoroughly, with analysis and comment on economic, political and social issues. The best-selling paper is The Daily Telegraph with a circulation over one million.
The popular papers tend to make news sensational, but their main interest is entertainment, show business gossip, sport and sensational sex scandals. The Sun is Britain’s most popular daily paper. The weekly News of the World has the largest circulation in the western world. Much of its information concerns the private lives of people who are in the news.
Newspapers are almost always financially independent of any political party, but most of them have some political bias. Most of Britain national papers are right-wing.
A modern newspaper could not be sold at a profit without advertisements. A single copy costs more to produce than is the price paid by the reader.
Most newspapers are issued daily, but there are also 7 000 periodicals published in the UK. Of those, women’s magazines Woman and Woman’s Own have the largest circulation. There are magazines and journals for almost every trade, profession, sport, hobby or interest.
There are a number of news agencies in London. The oldest of them is Reuters, which was founded in 1851 by the German, Julius Reuter. Reuters is now used by newspapers all over the world.
The most important radio and TV company in GB is the BBC. Its activities are paid from the licenses, which everyone who owns or rents a TV set has to pay.
The BBC has 2 TV channels: BBC 1 and BBC 2, BBC1 programmes consist largely of lighter plays and series, humor and sports. BBC 2 offers more serious programmes – documentaries and discussions, operas and concerts.
There are four BBC radio channels, each of which specializes. Radio 1 has mainly pop music, Radio 2 light music, comedy and sport, Radio 3 has classical music, talks on serious subjects and plays. Radio 4 specializes in the spoken word – news reports, talks and discussions. In addition the BBC has a number of local radio stations. The BBC also broadcasts news and information to countries all over the world.
Besides BBC 1 and BBC 2 there are two other TV channels: ITV and Channel 4.