Leading the boss in the mirror
The Daily Mirror is a British national daily tabloid newspaper founded in It is owned by parent company Reach plc. From to , and from to , the title on its masthead was simply The Mirror. It had an average daily print circulation of , in December , dropping markedly to , the following year.
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Unlike other major British tabloids such as The Sun and the Daily Mail , the Mirror has no separate Scottish edition; this function is performed by the Daily Record and Sunday Mail , which incorporate certain stories from the Mirror that are of Scottish significance. Originally pitched to the middle-class reader, it was converted into a working-class newspaper after , in order to reach a larger audience. The Mirror has had a number of owners.
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In a restructuring of the media interests of the Harmsworth family led to the Mirror becoming a part of International Publishing Corporation. During the mid s, daily sales exceeded 5 million copies, a feat never repeated by it or any other daily non-Sunday British newspaper since. The paper went through a protracted period of crisis after his death before merging with the regional newspaper group Trinity in to form Trinity Mirror.
During the s the paper was editorially sympathetic to Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists. It was not an immediate success and in Harmsworth decided to turn it into a pictorial newspaper with a broader focus. Harmsworth appointed Hamilton Fyfe as editor and all of the paper's female journalists were fired. Circulation grew to , making it the second-largest morning newspaper. Alfred Harmsworth sold the newspaper to his brother Harold Harmsworth from Lord Rothermere in In , the price was increased to one penny.
Lord Rothermere was a friend of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler , and directed the Mirror ' s editorial stance towards them in the early s. In Rothermere sold the paper to H. Bartholomew and Hugh Cudlipp. Walter Thompson, the Mirror became the first British paper to adopt the appearance of the New York tabloids. The headlines became bigger, the stories shorter and the illustrations more abundant. After taking over as cartoon chief at the Mirror in ,  he dropped Beelzebub Jones and moved on to a variety of new strips.
During the Second World War the Mirror positioned itself as the paper of the ordinary soldier and civilian, and was critical of the political leadership and the established parties. At one stage, the paper was threatened with closure following the publication of a Philip Zec cartoon captioned by William Connor , which was misinterpreted by Winston Churchill and Herbert Morrison. In doing so, the paper supported Herbert Morrison, who co-ordinated Labour's campaign, and recruited his former antagonist Philip Zec to reproduce, on the front page, a popular VE Day cartoon on the morning of the election, suggesting that Labour were the only party who could maintain peace in post-war Britain.
The Mirror was an influential model for German tabloid Bild , which was founded in and became Europe's biggest-selling newspaper. In , the Mirror and its stablemate the Sunday Pictorial later to become the Sunday Mirror began printing a northern edition in Manchester. In it introduced the Andy Capp cartoon, created by Reg Smythe from Hartlepool, in the northern editions. The Mirror 's mass working class readership had made it the United Kingdom's best-selling daily tabloid newspaper. In , it acquired the Daily Herald the popular daily of the labour movement when it bought Odhams , in one of a series of takeovers which created the International Publishing Corporation IPC.
The Mirror management did not want the Herald competing with the Mirror for readers, and in , relaunched it as a mid-market paper, now named The Sun. When it failed to win readers, the Sun was sold to Rupert Murdoch — who immediately relaunched it as a more populist and sensationalist tabloid and a direct competitor to the Mirror. In an attempt to cater to a different kind of reader, the Mirror launched the "Mirrorscope" pull-out section on 30 January The ambitious brief for the supplement, which ran on Wednesdays and Fridays, was to deal with international affairs, politics, industry, science, the arts and business".
The Mirror went through a protracted period of crisis before merging with the regional newspaper group Trinity to form Trinity Mirror in Under the editorship of Piers Morgan from October to May the paper saw a number of controversies. The 'City Slickers' columnists, Anil Bhoyrul and James Hipwell , were both found to have committed further breaches of the Code, and were sacked before the inquiry.
In , further enquiry by the Department of Trade and Industry cleared Morgan from any charges.
In , the Mirror attempted to move mid-market, claiming to eschew the more trivial stories of show-business and gossip. The paper changed its masthead logo from red to black and occasionally blue , in an attempt to dissociate itself from the term " red top ", a term for a sensationalist mass-market tabloid. On 6 April , the red top came back. Under then-editor Piers Morgan , the newspaper's editorial stance opposed the invasion of Iraq , and ran many front pages critical of the war. It also gave financial support to the 15 February anti-war protest , paying for a large screen and providing thousands of placards.
Morgan re-hired John Pilger , who had been sacked during Robert Maxwell 's ownership of the Mirror titles. Despite such changes, Morgan was unable to halt the paper's decline in circulation, a decline shared by its direct tabloid rivals The Sun and the Daily Star. Morgan was fired from the Mirror on 14 May after authorising the newspaper's publication of photographs allegedly showing Iraqi prisoners being abused by British Army soldiers from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment.
The Mirror 's front page on 4 November , after the re-election of George W. Bush as U. It provided a list of states and their alleged average IQ, showing the Bush states all below average intelligence except for Virginia , and all John Kerry states at or above average intelligence. The source for this table was The Economist ,  although it was a hoax.
Lloyd Embley was then promoted to editor-in-chief across the entire group, and Alison Phillips previously deputy editor-in-chief for the Trinity Mirror titles was appointed editor of the Daily Mirror. The Daily Mirror has traditionally backed the Labour Party at general elections.
On 3 May , the day of the general election , the Daily Mirror urged its readers to vote for the governing Labour Party led by James Callaghan. By the time of the general election , Labour support was at a postwar low, partly due to the strong challenge by the recently formed SDP-Liberal Alliance. Despite this, the Daily Mirror remained loyal to Labour and urged its readers to vote for the party now led by Michael Foot , condemning the Thatcher-led Tory government for its "waste of our nation",  condemning the rise in unemployment that Thatcher's Conservative government had seen in its first term in power largely due to monetarist economic policies to reduce inflation, although the government's previously low popularity had dramatically improved since the success of the Falklands conflict a year earlier.
At the general election , the Daily Mirror remained loyal to Labour now led by Neil Kinnock and urged its readers "You know he's right, chuck her out". For the general election , the Daily Mirror continued to support Labour, still led by Neil Kinnock. The outcome of this election had been far less predictable than any of the previous three elections, as opinion polls over the previous three years had shown both parties in the lead, although any Labour lead in the polls had been relatively narrow since the Conservative government's change of leader from Thatcher to Major in November , in spite of the onset of a recession in which had pushed unemployment up again after several years of decline.
Labour's credibility was helped by plans including extra NHS funding and moving away from firm commitments on re-nationalisation to reverse the Conservative policy of privatisation, but its decision to be up-front about tax increases was seen as a key factor in its failure to win. By the time of the general election , support for the Labour Party, now led by Tony Blair , in the opinion polls had exceeded that of support for the Tory government still led by John Major since late , the government's reduced popularity largely blamed on the failings of Black Wednesday in September of that year and it had failed to recover popularity in spite of a strong economic recovery and fall in unemployment.
A reinvented "New Labour" had further improved its credibility under Blair by promising traditional Labour essentials including more funding for healthcare and education, but also promising not to increase income tax and ending its commitment to the nationalisation of leading industries. On 4 May , the newspaper printed a picture of Conservative leader David Cameron with a giant red cross through his face.
The headline read "How to stop him" in reference to the general election two days later , thus confirming the Daily Mirror ' s Labour allegiance. The election ended in Britain's first hung parliament since , but Cameron still became prime minister of the country within days as the Conservatives formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
The Daily Mirror was the only leading national newspaper to remain loyal to Labour and Gordon Brown at a time when opinion polls showed the party on course for their worst election result since The newspaper was critical of the Liberal Democrats for forming the coalition which enabled the Conservatives to form a new government in , and branded leader Nick Clegg as Pinickio alluding to the lying fictional character Pinocchio  for going back on numerous pre-election pledges.
It has frequently referred to the party as the "Fib Dems"  or "Lib Dumbs". Despite this critical position, the Daily Mirror endorsed again the Labour Party in the general election. On 2 April , the Daily Mirror was printed entirely on blue paper. Source: Tabloid Nation .
Your Greatest Leadership Challenge: A Look in the Mirror at Self-Leadership
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