The Daily Mail is known as a ‘middle of the road’ newspaper – along with its closet rival the Daily Express, to which it is superior in readership - as it is neither a sensational tabloid nor a more serious broadsheet. Generally the Mail incorporates serious news stories, particularly those involving governmental services like the NHS, with light-entertainment. For example, the headline from 23rd November read “Tube Killing: A Final Insult” (a story on the killing of Jean Charles do Menezes) which was accompanied by a story about the popular television programme – X Factor. According to the website ‘thinkbox’, there are 12.8 million ABC1 males in Britain along with 30% of the female population. The Daily Mail is not widely read by this section of society, as the ABC1 category tend to read broadsheets. Instead the Mail is aimed at the middle categories, namely C1, C2 and D, of whom there are considerably more of in Britain. However, the C2 and D categories are much less likely to obtain their news from a newspaper, as technology has made it much easier to look on the internet, so the Mail includes stories on popular culture to secure the interest of these groups. The Mail is fairly even in terms of male and female bias, although it sells well with females over the age of 55. This is perhaps due to its combination of important news, which informs the reader, and the human interest stories, providing some light relief. The female audience is continually targeted, through the consistent use of female orientated stories on page three and the use of perspective – where many articles are written from a female viewpoint or angle. The advertising also adheres to their target audience, as the most frequently advertised products are from supermarkets or are beauty products.
The Mail runs a section called ‘Femail’, which is solely targeted at women. On 19th November the Mail published an article with Christina Errington following her revelation of her Belle de Jour lifestyle – a completely female orientated story.
In this vain, the Mail has a similar readership to the Daily Mirror, its tabloid equivalent, although I would suggest that the Mail is more aimed at the older reader. Frequently the Mail will have a front page exclusive. From the past few weeks these have included stories on oil, vehicle clamping, British call-girls and the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes. The frequency of so-called exclusives suggests that the Mail has a strong collection of contacts in the public services.
- The symbol in the centre of ‘Daily Mail’ is the coat of arms of the British monarchy and the phrase “Dieu et mon droit”, meaning “God and my right” refers to the divine right of kings.