British Heritage
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Daily Mail

An Integral Part of British Heritage.

The Daily Mail has long been a part of the daily lives of many in the United Kingdom, acting as a catalyst for discourse, information dissemination, and even controversy. In the narrative of the British media landscape, the Daily Mail holds a significant place, marking an influential legacy that has survived more than a century.

Established Legacy and Unwavering Influence

Launched in 1896, the Daily Mail was the brainchild of Alfred Harmsworth and his brother Harold. It quickly gained traction for its populist tone and concise reporting, making it a favoured source of news among the masses. The paper became a remarkable success story in British journalism, with its circulation soaring to 500,000 copies by 1899. By the end of the Boer Wars in 1902, it held the title of the world's largest newspaper, boasting a circulation of over a million.

From its inception, the Daily Mail exhibited a staunchly imperialist political stance, taking a patriotic approach during events like the Second Boer War. It was also the first British newspaper to acknowledge and cater to the potential market of female readers with its women's interest section and the hiring of Sarah Wilson, one of the first female war correspondents.

Contributions to British Journalism and Society

The Daily Mail has, throughout its existence, made remarkable contributions to British journalism. It was the first national newspaper to print simultaneously in both Manchester and London, a production method later adopted by many other national dailies. The paper also initiated a number of prize offers for aviation breakthroughs in the early 20th century, demonstrating its commitment to progress and innovation.

Politically, the Daily Mail has consistently exercised its influence. In a 2004 survey, 53% of its readers were found to have voted for the Conservative Party, reflecting the paper's political leanings. Its editorial policy is marked by the freedom granted to editors, allowing for a wide range of opinions to be presented.

Continued Success and Enduring Popularity

In terms of readership, the Daily Mail has continued to command a large audience, with an average daily circulation of 1,134,184 copies in February 2020 and a majority female readership. Its online platform, MailOnline, pulls in over 218 million unique visitors per month, demonstrating its successful adaptation to the digital age.

The Daily Mail has garnered several accolades, such as the 'National Newspaper of the Year' award from The Press Awards, which it has won eight times since 1995. In 2020, The Society of Editors selected it as the 'Daily Newspaper of the Year', further cementing its reputation.

Challenges and Controversies

The Daily Mail's history is not without its share of controversies. It has been accused of sensationalist and inaccurate reporting, particularly concerning scientific and medical research. It has also faced allegations of plagiarism and copyright infringement. Despite these challenges, the Daily Mail's influence in the British media landscape remains undiminished.

It is worth noting that in February 2017, the Daily Mail became the first source to be deprecated as an "unreliable source" for use as a reference on the English Wikipedia. This has not, however, significantly impacted its widespread readership.


The Daily Mail's journey mirrors the evolution of British journalism. From its initial populist approach and catering to female readers to its constant drive for innovation and adaptation to digital journalism, the Daily Mail has left an indelible mark on the British media landscape. Its enduring success and popularity, despite numerous controversies, make it an integral part of British heritage. Regardless of the public's varying views on its content and journalistic approach, the Daily Mail's legacy and influence in the United Kingdom are undeniable.

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