Media in the UK

Tabloids & Broadsheets

The three most popular daily papers in the UK are all tabloids (The Sun, The Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror), all of which have more than a million papers in circulation.  In comparison, the most popular broadsheets (the Daily Telegraph and the Times) have a much lower circulation.  Tabloids have become increasingly popular in comparison to broadsheets because a reliable and trustworthy news network already exists (BBC and other broadcasting networks).  As a result, ordinary people no longer need broadsheets for basic news and contribute to the pervasiveness of tabloids throughout the UK.  Additionally, broadsheets are aimed at middle class people and tabloids at the working class.  According to a 2007 survey by the BBC, 57% of adults in the UK identify themselves with the working class.  Many broadsheets are also available online, so there is less demand for a physical broadsheet.  Often times, a broadsheet will switch to a tabloid due to several reasons such as tabloids are more popular than broadsheets, and are also smaller in size.

BBC (Radio, TV & World Service)

Radio usage is pervasive throughout the UK.  According to RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research), which collects radio audience data.  According to their surveys 91% of the population listen to the radio on a weekly basis.  Of that 91%, 68% tune into BBC radio.  The national radio alone has approximately 33.1 million weekly listeners.  BBC is also a well-known news platform since it launched its world service platform in 1932 and proved itself to provide quality and reliable news to the public.  In 2005 – 2006, BBC network television and radio for news and weather averaged to approximately 619 hours for week, just showing how large-scale the network is.  This is also a testament to how many people rely and trust the network because of the quality of its information.  Its television network is also home to many popular shows including: The Graham Norton Show, Doctor Who, Sherlock and The Musketeers.  Overall, the BBC has an incredible impact on media in the UK as it serves many different uses from news to entertainment and music.  In doing so, the network has broadened its audience and proved itself essentially to daily life.

Commercial TV

The top three television networks in the UK are BBC, ITV and Channel 4–BBC being the most widespread of the three.  In 1954, the Television Act permitted the first commercial television network in Britain, ITV.  For a long time, BBC was largely limited to the London area and the act enabled television to spread throughout the UK. Many of the shows popular in the UK are soap operas, and others that as just as popular in the US (such as Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones).  Commercial television is rather confusing in the UK.  Most of it is monopolized by BBC and ITV (which account for more than 50% of television in the UK).  Of the three, ITV and Channel 4 are both commercial.  Here is a rather long video about media in the UK:

Social Media

With such a high percentage of the population living online, it’s easy to understand why there has been less demand for broadsheets.  Information can now be found faster and more readily on the internet, increasing the popularity of tabloids.  Media in the UK is largely changing and adapting to the newer, technologically advanced generation.

References (under the cut)