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Understanding The Popular Press

jeremy | Thursday October 08, 2009

Categories: GCSE, AQA GCSE, News, Intro to News, Popular Press, Understanding Media, Understanding Key Topics

What is The Popular Press?


  • definitions of media language associated with newspapers
  • codes and conventions
  • areas of study
  • classroom activities
  • front page examples
  • front page quiz
  • news values
  • regulation
  • institutions
  • representations
  • audiences
  • politics and the popular press

The Popular Press refers to mass circulation national newspapers, targeted at the popular end of the market. This includes The Sun, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, The Daily Star, The News of the World, The People, The Daily Record, the Sunday Mail and their associated websites.

The earliest known newspaper was the Roman Acta Diurna (The Daily Events), started around 59 B.C. This was a daily handwritten news report posted in a specified public place under the orders of Emperor Julius Caesar (100–44 B.C.) but not actually on paper. Around A.D. 700 the Chinese developed the world’s first printed newspaper, called the Dibao, which was produced with hand-carved wooden blocks.

The world’s first modern newspaper is recognised by the World Association of Newspapers as The Relation published in Strasburg, at that time in Germany, by Johann Carolus (1575 - 1634)

The first regular English daily newspaper was the Daily Courant, which was launched in the reign of Queen Anne in 1702 and looks difficult to read compared to modern popular newspapers, but shares many of the same codes such as writing in columns.


Students are usually familiar with The Sun newspaper, but they may not realise that the Daily Mail and News of the World also constitute the Popular Press.

These titles used to be distinguished by their size known as tabloid which is smaller and easier to hold and read on a bus than the more serious, larger broadsheet newspapers.

However the size of the newspaper no longer distinguishes it as the popular press; broadsheet newspapers such as The Times and The Guardian are now in tabloid format.

The Popular Press means...

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