Northern Irish press

Northern Irish press
   The daily newspaper market in Northern Ireland is dominated by the Belfast Telegraph (circulation around 130,000), the Irish News (47,000), and the Belfast Newsletter (32,000), although local versions of British tabloids like the Mirror and the Sun have made some inroads into urban working-class readerships in recent years. Northern Ireland manages to produce only two Sunday papers: the Sunday Life (104,000) and the Northern edition of the Southern-based Sunday World (71,000). There are approximately twenty-four weekly regional newspapers and a number of free weeklies, based mainly in the urban centres east of the river Bann. Also worthy of mention are political organs like An Phoblacht, the newspaper of Sinn Féin and the Andersonstown News, both weeklies which sell in large numbers but do not appear on official industry circulation lists.
   The usual readership profiles based on occupation, class and income are complicated in Northern Ireland by political and sectarian allegiances, which colour editorial positions and coverage of everyday Northern Irish life. Thus, the broadsheet Irish News has an almost exclusively Catholic/Nationalist readership, and the tabloid Belfast Newsletter an exclusively Protestant/Unionist audience. The broadsheet Belfast Telegraph, while editorially a ‘Unionist newspaper’, has a traditionally more moderate perspective on contentious issues like parades and demonstrations than the Newsletter, and sells in significant numbers to Catholics. Regional newspapers too, depending on ownership and local readership, often have sharply defined political positions. The Derry Journal, for instance, the largest-selling regional newspaper (over 50,000 in two weekly editions) is read by Derry’s majority Nationalist population, while the Londonderry Senti-nel, as the title might suggest, caters mainly for local Protestants.
   See also: Scottish press; Welsh press

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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