Ownership – The Guardian is owned by a trust (the Scott Trust) in order to ensure that their content is as reliable and unbiased as possible. All profit made is reinvested into journalism and helps ensure journalistic freedom through portraying a supposedly unbiased and non-profit based perspective on world events.
In contrast, the Daily Mail is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust, however the paper is profit based, made to benefit an owner. The profit goes to a member of the British aristocracy – Viscount Jonathon Hamsworth, chairman and controlling shareholder of the Daily Mail and General Trust. Day-to-day editorial decisions for the newspaper are usually made by a team around the editor, Paul Dacre.
Political stance – The general nature of The Guardian newspaper is considered a left wing newspaper, with 38% of readers supporting the Liberal Democrats and 48% supporting the Labour party in a survey from 2005. The newspaper’s reputation as a platform for liberal and left-wing opinions has led to the use of the epithets “Guardian reader” and “Guardianista” for people holding such views, or as a negative stereotype of the middle class audience who widely read the newspaper. This would demonstrate The Guardian as being quite biased towards left wing views despite claims made on the supposedly unbiased newspaper The Guardian was intended to be. Throughout the majority of the British elections The Guardian clearly showed their support for the Liberal Democrats and the Labour party, siding with Labour on Britain’s most recent election in summer 2017.
The Mail, on the other hand, is notoriously right wing, supporting the Conservative party in all recent general elections. While the paper continued to support the Conservative Party during the 2015 general election, the paper urged conservatively inclined voters to support UKIP in areas where UKIP was the main challenger to the Labour Party, suggesting the Mail is against left wing ideals.
Readership and circulation – A study carried out in 2014 showed that the total weekly readership for The Guardian is about 744,000 adults (15+). This has dropped significantly from the previous number of 1,124,000 readers in March 2010. The Guardian has a headline circulation of around 199,672copies. This has a month-on-month change of around +0.10% and a year-on-year change of about -1.93%. On a Saturday the circulation typically increases to about 363,667 copies sold
. A Study carried out April 2014 to September 2014 showed that the Mail has a total weekly readership of around 3,833,000adults, higher than that of the Guardian. The circulation of the Daily Mail stands at an average of 1,511,357 copies.
Target audience – the main target audience for The Guardian consists of young- middle aged adult males, as by September 2014 577,000 of 744,000 readers were over the age of 35 and 55.9% of all readers were male. From this evidence I would therefore come to the conclusion that the average buyer would fit into an ABC1 category (55.4% total, 70.2% of sample, according to data provided by the site YouGov) and would typically be middle class as well as male and over the age of 35, as the majority of people who still daily buy newspapers are older and typically use the internet less as well as having leisure time and money to spare in order to buy and read the newspaper. In terms of political stance, readers of the Guardian tend to hold left wing views, which support’s the newspaper’s reputation for holding a liberal stance.
Based on its readership statistics, the Daily Mail’s target audience is lower-middle-class British women. However, the paper’s promotional gimmicks, prizes and contests, and low price make it appealing to lower-middle-class readers in general; therefore in terms of applying a social group to the audience it can vary despite being mainly within the ABC1 category. The Daily Mail was the first newspaper in the United Kingdom to provide articles directed specifically at women. As of 2013, almost 55 percent of its readers were female, making it the only British paper with a majority female readership. Its online branch, Mail Online, focuses on celebrity news and controversial topics, and one of the major features of both the printed and online versions of the paper is a section called Femail. The majority of Daily Mail readers live in the London, the South Coast and Yorkshire. Whilst London were primarily Labour in the last election, the South Coast and Yorkshire were largely conservative, perhaps demonstrating the mail’s right wing stance and influence on readers.