Richard Britton assesses Piers Morgan’s impact on the Mirror three months on

Richard Britton assesses Piers Morgan’s impact on the Mirror three

months on

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