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May 5, 2008

Wikipedia: The Times

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See also: The New York Times, The Times of India, and The Irish Times
The Times

Front page from an October 17, 2007, edition
Type Daily newspaper
Format Compact

Owner Times Newspapers Ltd
Editor James Harding
Founded 1785
Political allegiance Centre-right (in recent times more centrist)
Price £0.70 (Monday-Friday)
£1.40 (Saturday)
£1.30 (Sat – Sco)
Headquarters Wapping, London
Circulation 692,581


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.[1] 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.[2]

The Times is the original “Times” newspaper, lending its name to many other papers around the world, such as The New York Times, The Times of India, and The Irish Times. It 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 200 years, but switched to compact size in 2004 in an attempt to appeal to younger readers. In May 2006, it announced plans to launch a United States edition,[3] which began publishing on June 6, 2006.

In November 2006 The Times began printing headlines in its new font, Times Modern.


The Times today

The newspaper’s cover price in the United Kingdom is 70p on weekdays (a rise of 5p as of 3 September 2007), 30p for students at some university campus shops and £1.40 on Saturday (from 8 September 2007). The Times’ sister paper, The Sunday Times, is a broadsheet with a cover price of £2. 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 and were founded independently. The titles have only shared the same owner since 1967.


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 Daily Telegraph remains the market leader for broadsheets, with a circulation of 905,955 copies, owing to over 300,000 discount subscribers each day. Tabloid newspapers, such as The Sun and the Daily Mail, at present outsell both papers with a circulation of around 3,274,855 and 2,353,807 respectively.[4]


The Times was founded by John Walter in 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 hacks[citation needed] 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 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[5] with his dispatches back to England.

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. Though the Walters were becoming more conservative, 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 A. F. 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.

On May 8, 1920, under the editorship of Wickham Steed, the Times in a front-page leader 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 leader 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.[6]

In 1967, members of the Astor family sold the paper to Canadian publishing magnate Roy Thomson, and on May 3, 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 left the paper shut down for nearly a year (December 1, 1978–November 12, 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 inevitable migration to technology-based printing.

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.[7]

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 compact 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 compact 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 September 2005, the cover price of The Times was raised to 60p, the same as The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, and 5p less than The Independent. It was the first time in twelve years that the cover price of The Times has matched that of its rivals, a clear indication[citation needed] that News International was no longer prepared to fund the price war it had launched in September 1993 by cutting the price of The Times from 45p to 30p.

In September 2007, the cover price of The Times was again raised by 5p to 70p, matching rivals The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and the The Independent. Its Saturday edition also matches rivals’ prices.

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. [8]


Long considered the UK’s newspaper of record, The Times was generally seen as a serious publication with high standards of journalism. However, some, including employees of The Times, feel it has gone downmarket since being acquired by Murdoch; they cite its coverage of celebrities as evidence, although this increased coverage of and emphasis on celebrity- and sports-related news is rarely given prominence on the front page. It is not without trenchant critics, however: Robert Fisk,[9] seven times British International Journalist of the Year, 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.

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.

Format and supplements

The main section of The Times features news in the first half of the paper, 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 and the like. The sport section is at the end of the main paper, with the Times Crossword puzzle on the inside back cover.


times2 is The Times’s main supplement, featuring various lifestyle columns. Its current incarnation began on 5 September 2005, before which it was called T2 and previously Times 2. Regular features include an “Image of the Day” and a “Modern Morals” column, where people pose moral dilemmas to columnist Joe Joseph. The back page is devoted to puzzles and contains Sudoku puzzles and a crossword that is simpler and more concise than the main Times Crossword.

The supplement contains arts and lifestyle features, a regular poetry column, and TV and radio listings and reviews. On Wednesdays, times2 includes Crème, the newspaper’s supplement for “PAs, secretaries, executive assistants and anyone who works in administrative support.”[10] It is read by more secretaries than The Guardian and The Evening Standard.[11]

Saturday Times supplements

The Saturday edition of The Times does not carry the times2 supplement, instead coming with a variety of supplements, on travel, health and wellbeing (called Body&Soul), and the following:


The only supplement with a quality newspaper devoted to book reviews, features and interviews. It also features a Puzzles section on the back pages, where the Su Doku puzzles can be found on Saturdays, along with a large crossword and the Listener crossword puzzle. Edited by Erica Wagner [1].

The Times Magazine

The Knowledge magazine.

The Knowledge magazine.

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 Gordon Ramsay, one of Britain’s highest profile chefs, and Giles Coren, Food And Drink Writer of the Year in 2005.

The Knowledge

The Knowledge is a culture supplement, featuring information and reviews of the coming week’s best entertainment.

Its content is usually split up into the sections ‘Arts & Entertainment’ and ‘TV & Radio’. ‘Arts & Entertainment’ is further subdivided into ‘Starts’, ‘Screen’ (which includes film, DVD, Internet and Games), ‘Stages’ (including Theatre, Dance, Opera and Comedy). ‘Sounds’ (Music, Clubs and Concerts) and ‘Sights’ (Museums, Galleries, Events and Kids). ‘TV & Radio’ consists of reviews and listings for current and upcoming Television and Radio shows.

The Knowledge is published in four different editions depending on region so that the information contained is more relevant to the reader. These are; Scotland and Ireland, North of England, West and Central, East and Southeast and London. It used to be published in smaller A5 format, but was relaunched in 2005 in an A4 format in order to more closely resemble the Saturday Times Magazine.


“Money” is a personal finance supplement with features on investment, mortgages and consumer affairs, among other subjects, plus news and comment. The regular “Money MoT” slot sees experts give a detailed financial makeover to a selected reader. Edited by Andrew Ellson [2].

The Game

“The Game” is included in the newspaper on a Monday, and details all the weekends association football action (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.


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.


  • John Walter (1785–1803)
  • John Walter, 2nd (1803–1847)
  • John Walter, 3rd (1847–1894)
  • Arthur Fraser Walter (1894–1908)
  • Lord Northcliffe (1908–1922)
  • Astor family (1922–1966)
  • Roy Thomson (1966–1981)
  • News International (subsidiary of News Corporation), run by Rupert Murdoch (1981— )


  • John Walter (1785–1803)
  • John Walter, 2nd (1803–1809)
  • John Stoddart (1809–1817)
  • 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)
  • William 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

  • Rachel Campbell-Johnston
  • Stephen Farrell
  • Sam Coates
  • Ben Hoyle
  • Hugo Rifkind
  • Anthony Browne
  • Hugh McIlvanney
  • Richard Ford
  • Martin Samuel
  • Simon Barnes
  • Graham Stewart
  • Frances Gibb
  • Adam Fresco
  • Ruth Gledhill
  • Giles Coren
  • Robert Crampton
  • Nigel Hawkes
  • Dan Sabbagh
  • Ginny Dougary
  • Michael Gove
  • Philip Webster
  • Tim Hames
  • Stewart Tendler
  • Anthony Howard
  • Philip Howard
  • Mick Hume
  • Anatole Kaletsky
  • Magnus Linklater
  • Richard Lloyd Parry
  • Anthony Loyd, war correspondent on retainer
  • Ben Macintyre
  • Caitlin Moran
  • Richard Morrison
  • Kate Muir
  • Matthew Parris
  • Grayson Perry
  • Libby Purves
  • William Rees-Mogg
  • Peter Riddell
  • Nick Robinson
  • Paul Sheehan
  • Mary Ann Sieghart
  • Andrew Sullivan
  • Janice Turner
  • Ann Treneman
  • Alexander Williams, cartoonist
  • Aki Riihilahti
  • Gordon Ramsay
  • Guillem Balague
  • Daniel Finkelstein, comment editor
  • Alice Miles
  • David Brown
  • David Sinclair
  • Peter Brookes, leader-page cartoonist
This text comes from Wikipedia. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikipedia.

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