Richard Britton assesses Piers Morgan’s impact on the Mirror three
It is Friday morning and the popular newspaper headlines read: ‘A woman
will die today’ (wake up it’s a beautiful morning), ‘Find this monster’
(achtung!) and ‘It’s so easy to blow a million’ (two sugars and a
lottery ticket please).
This is clearly not a royal ‘exclusive’ day which polarises the market
with the mere sniff of a sensation. The differences do not stop at the
front page. The Daily Mirror (‘A woman will die today’) has Piers
Morgan, previously editor of the News of the World, at its helm. Since
his arrival, there have been changes. Unfortunately, perhaps, most of
the attention has focused on Morgan’s political allegiances and his bold
exposes rather than the core product.
Putting aside cost per thousands and a hammer-like telephone manner, it
is not difficult to see why the Sun (‘Find this monster’) is more
‘popular’ than the Daily Mirror. The heritage of both titles is
important but on this particular morning, representing a day in the life
of a newspaper, my perceptions are clear. The Daily Mirror makes real
life sensational and the Sun makes sensation real life. Not forgetting
the Daily Star (‘It’s so easy to blow a million’) which sees real life
through 36DD spectacles.
The Daily Mirror is a more ‘serious’ read than the others, with an
element of campaigning - ‘Bus belt victory’, ‘Save the NHS’, ‘Pay them
[nurses] what they are worth’. The monarchy is there, of course, but
‘Duchess for sale’ is by Vicki Woods, the former editor of Harpers and
Queen, no less.
Morgan is clearly mindful of tradition and the title has not lost the
qualities upon which its readership relies. If significant circulation
growth was the sole objective, then I would be reading a very different
Richard Britton is a director of CIA Medianetwork