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What factors enabled the Daily Mail to be so immediately successful when it was launched in 1896?

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Introduction

What factors enabled the Daily Mail to be so immediately successful when it was launched in 1896? The first issue of the Daily Mail appeared on 4th May 1896. It was an immediate success and circulation quickly achieved 500,000. It is the only paper to remain in the same family ownership for the entire twentieth century. A man called Alfred Harmsworth, who later became known as Lord Northcliffe, created it. He was born in Chapelizod near Dublin in 1865 and was already taking an interest in journalism when he began editing his school magazine. In 1888 he and his brother Harold published their own magazine, which within 4 years had become a great success and was selling over a million copies a week. This success helped him finance the children's paper, Comic Cuts and a woman's magazine, Forget-Me-Nots. In 1894 he took on the Evening News which at this point was nearly bankrupt and dramatically changed it making yet another success. Now Harmsworth wanted to start a new newspaper that would be based on and American style. This was the Daily Mail By the time the first copy was released there had already been over 65 dummy runs which had amounted to a total cost of �40, 000. ...read more.

Middle

Every day 10,000 copies of the paper were delivered to the Western Front by military motor cars. He also had the revolutionary idea of using front-line soldiers as news sources. In August 1914 he announced a scheme where he would pay soldiers for articles written about their experiences. This revolutionary idea of course encouraged more readers to buy the paper as they would get a greater insight into the war. The Daily Mail presented a new idea which catered for the potential of a new large class of literate readers. The people had not yet been provided with an attractive, affordable daily paper. Most other daily papers only reached about ten thousand in comparison with mail, which reached sales of up to a million in its first year. It claimed an initial sale of 897215. These new potential readers were lower middle class, upwardly mobile with increasing leisure and spending power to enlarge and satisfy their curiosity about the world. As their needs had not been catered for before, the Daily Mail presented an ideal opportunity for them and again an increase in Harmsworth's readership. Another factor noticed by Northcliffe was the importance of appealing to women. The Daily Mirror was a paper that was directed towards women, but before this Northcliffe included articles for women in the Daily Mail. ...read more.

Conclusion

By applying the lessons learned in magazine journalism to daily newspapers, Northcliffe increased his success. At each point in the development of newspaper content across the last century, editors have responded to popular taste in order to optimise sales and advertising revenue. The Daily Mail remains almost unique. It is the same kind of paper as when it was founded. It is still family owned and continues the idea of family values of the most traditional kind. All these ideas were presented by Northcliffe and have lead to the Daily Mail becoming a very successful and traditional paper. It has taken a great leap forward and today is one of the leaders in the sector. Associated Newspapers involve the Group's national dailies, such as the Daily Mail, the Mail On Sunday and the Evening Standard, plus a freebie, Metro. Northcliffe Newspapers manages fifty dailies and weeklies, including the recently acquired Bristol group titles. All the factors that have been discussed, combined, have led to the success of the Daily Mail some being of less importance, but still relevant in contributing in making the paper what it is today. It currently sells for 40p and 70p on a Sunday. Average circulation this year has reached figures of up to 2,473,965 and an average readership of 5,905,000 between January and June this year. These figures confirm the papers success continues today over a hundred years after it was established. . . ...read more.

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