The data is here for the 12 months to December 2010.
By my calculations the Sun, Mail, Telegraph, Times, Star and Express have a readership of 18,756,000, and the Guardian, Mirror, Record (Scotland) and Independent have a readership of 4,722,000.
So right-wing daily papers have 75% of the market, and leftish papers have 25% of the market.
For every person reading leftish papers, there are 3 reading rightish (or rightist) papers.
This is a sorry state of affairs. In a decent democracy, we would expect a normal bell shaped curve of political opinion, reflected by a 50:50 split between rightish and leftish papers. The 1:3 skewing that we find in reality reflects the weakness of the purchase of the Right on the national opinion: the fact that general elections have only a slight Conservative bias rather than a 3:1 bias shows that if it were 50:50, the political ethos of the UK would be far more reasonable and egalitarian than it now is.
It may be argued that this is due to selection bias, that the public demand right wing crap, and so that's what they get. However, there is a huge public sentiment against the crap they are fed, as shown by the low esteem in which journalists are held, and the wave of spontaneous applause that Earl Spencer got when he criticised the press at Princess Diana's wedding.
The Leveson Inquiry is going to come out with some recommendations.
I will jump the gun here with some suggestions off the top of me 'ead.
- Require the owner's name to be printed under the mast head of every newspaper.
- Only one national per plutocrat, and/or 2 locals (Latter negotiable)
- Only British domiciled persons to own British newspapers
- If the bastards try to avoid tax, take their newspaper away
- any other suggestions?