At one time any town or community of any size would have at least one morning local newspaper, and sometimes one or more evening newspapers as well. In terms of history a vibrant local newspaper industry was present in the UK long before national newspapers. It is still the case in the US and many other large and diverse countries that local or regional papers carry more weight than national titles.
The number of local papers began to decline dramatically in the 20th century with the arrival of first radio and tlevision news, and with local and regional TV news bulletins in particular. The evening papers were often hit the hardest as commuters would go home to watch the evening TV news bulletins (with their significant local 'opt out' content) rather than read an evening newspaper. Morning papers are also in decline, but many have hung on more successfully. Many have cut frequency of circulation to weekly.
Another blow for he paid of newspaper press has been the arrivals of the 'giveaway' free newspapers. At the same time the arrival of the internet has undermined advertising revenues - as web based advertising on sites like ebay is free and often much more effective.
There are 1,301 regional and local newspapers in the UK in 2008 (latest figures) according to the newspaper society and the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
This includes paid-for and free regional papers, 51% of titles are
• 96 Paid Daily
• 14 Free Daily
• 522 Paid Weekly
• 647 Free Weekly
• 13 Paid Sunday
• 9 Free Sunday
(Source: ABC/VFD/NS database)
Current top five regional daily papers:
1. Evening Standard (London) - Circulation
2. Express & Star (West Midlands)
3. Liverpool Echo (Liverpool)
4. Manchester Evening News (Manchester)
5. Belfast Telegraph (Belfast)
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