Does the Daily Mirror still have much influence?

Does the Daily Mirror still have much influence?

Daily Mirror October 10th 1974 – Wikimedia Commons

Can it get more votes out for Brown’s party?

When I started my journalistic career in 1968 the paper ambitious young graduates aspired to work for was the Mirror. It had a circulation topping four million and until the arrival of Murdoch’s Sun was the biggest selling paper in the UK.

It had built up a great reputation for covering serious serious stories in a popular manner and certainly had a big political influence. There was never any doubt where its loyalties lay – see the above from page from the October 1974 election – and almost certainly played a key part in getting the Labour vote out.

So when doing some research for this piece I was quite shocked to discover that its latest daily sales figure is 1,324,883. I hadn’t realised that it had declined to less than a third of its former self. By contrast the Sun is selling well over three million copies a day with the Daily Mail easily topping the two million mark.

So what are we to make of its part in the coming election and its almost daily campaign against David Cameron – of which there is more today in retaliation, one suspects, for the Sun’s move against Gordon Brown?

The story they are splashing has the potential to be quite damaging if handled properly – that Cameron had his own personal photographer with him at the Armistice Day celebrations and the suggestion that he was regarding the event as a “publicity stunt”.

I would have liked to have given you a flavour of the coverage but the Mirror’s website is so piss-poor that all we have is a long text piece with only one picture which does not add to the core point.

The big difference between it and the Sun is that the latter is seen as an agenda-setter even when it’s on the end of criticism as it has been over the lettergate business. Other parts of the media take notice of what its doing – the Mirror hardly registers and that says it all.

Mike Smithson

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