Observer now officially popular.

Let it not be said that Slugger is not gracious. I was one one of many who expressed skepticism at Daily Ireland’s recent circulation claims. It is therefore only right to congratulate all concerned as ABC today have approved the figure announced a few days ago by the publisher. Of course were one minded to nitpick one could point out the contribution made by bulk sales to achieving five figures, or to the decidely earthbound monthly trend. But that would be churlish.

  • Waitnsee

    Well I’ll be damned.

  • The Beach Tree

    Of course were one minded to nitpick one could point out the contribution made by bulk sales to achieving five figures … But that would be churlish.

    Whereas, Jimmy, your failure to mention that the total bulk sale for Daily Ireland (c. 600 copies – around 6% of the total) compares in a very interesting manner with, say, the Belfast Telegraphs (c. 9000 bulk sales from a total of 94,000 – almost 10%) would not be churlish.

    No, that would be disingenuous, bordering on dishonest.

    Or is it churlish to point that out?

  • The Beach Tree

    Though one must admire the Irish News – only 52 Bulk sales – one can’t but wonder why they bother at all!

  • Jimmy_Sands

    BT, I didn’t know so I wasn’t being disingenuous. Disingenuous would be calling 8084 “c. 9000” and 680 “c.600”.

  • The Beach Tree

    I agree – it would be – if it were true…

    Actual Figure from the website : 9217

    Jimmy, one ‘inaccuracy’ is unfortunate, but twice …well, it smacks of deceit.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    You do indeed get a higher figure if you exclude Saturday. What was that about deceit?

  • The Beach Tree


    It’s obvious I compared like for like. You do know, I assume that mon-Fri sales are the industry standard in this area, yes? No?

    It’s obvious you didn’t quite do the research.

    tsk, tsk.

    Straws, clutching, anyone?

  • Snapper

    Once again – well done DI.

    Onwards and up!

  • Snapper

    I could of course start slabberin myself at all those who made churlish remarks about the paper, but instead I will let the OFFICIAL figures do the talkin.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    BT, I will defer to your knowledge of the newspaper industry.

  • The Beach Tree


    And in the spirit of fair play, I will happily withdraw my implied suggestion of mendacity (i.e i accept your honesty, and apologies for suggesting otherwise), and replace it with an understanding nod that when we seek to spread the news quickly, we cannot always be the most punctilious editors simultaneously 🙂

    What can i say, I’m feeling pedantic!

  • peteb

    On the Mon-Fri figures.. and the “Onwards and upward” remark..

    Total average net circulation by month –

    Feb – 10,882
    March – 10,550
    April – 9,991

    Spot the trend?


    Does anyone have the projected targets made at the time of launch?

  • peteb

    Don’t have the projected targets.. perhaps Caoimhghín would know?.. ANYway… this BBC report on the launch says that they would need 20,000 sales per day to break even..

  • Waitnsee

    It’s not really possible to say much about the trend with only three months figures – you’d need at least a couple of years to exclude seasonal effects.

    I still can’t see them making the stated break-even of 20,000/day (and that was including expected subsidies) however assuming the sackings and other cuts brought losses down to an acceptable level it looks like DI could be around for quite a while.

    Jimmy – any idea when the Irish News stats come out so we can see how much of this has come off their sales?

  • peteb

    The first three month figures, Waitnsee?

  • Waitnsee

    Sure – sales of lots of things take a serious dive towards the summer then pick up again coming into the Autumn. Maybe republican newspapers are one of them?

  • peteb

    Comparative trend for those months (2004 I think) for the Irish News [Mon-Sat figures.. the Mon-Fri aren’t available.. strangely, perhaps, if they are the industry standard..] –

    Feb – 49,701
    March – 46,958
    April – 47,761

    and then in May – 49,774
    and June continues that trend – 56,493

    For the Irish News, the bottom of any seasonal trend is in March (although there’s always the possibility that that was a freak year).. April indicates the turning point in the seasonal trend.. unlike the Daily Ireland figures.

    Bottom line – until the Daily Ireland stabilises the drop in sales.. the figures mean little.

  • Waitnsee

    10,000+ is still an impressive start for a new daily in Belfast (and it only really sells in Belfast).
    It’s not enough to sustain a paper unless they’re prepared to pour money into it for a good three of four years though – but maybe they are?
    Now that the ABC figures are out the public sector ads will come in (although that won’t effect the readership figures, on which the ad rates will have to be based in the long term).
    DI won’t make money, perhaps ever, but being universally regarded as a Sinn Fein project there’ll be another factor keeping it going from now on – pride. I mean, imagine if their vote peaked and their paper closed in the same year?

  • peteb

    10,000+ ?

    Only if you take into account the initial sales following the launch publicity.. that’s the point.. under 10,000 in April.. and dropping?

    Pride? Of course. Pride will insist that money gets poured into this particular project regardless of the financial viability of the paper itself..

    But let’s not fool ourselves about that reality.

    The current hype around the figures is about reassuring the drifting readership that, actually, everyone’s reading the paper… when they’re not.

  • Waitnsee

    In the meantime it can take its place right up there with the Portadown Times (10,000+), the Ulster Star (12,000+) and the Impartial Reporter (14,000+).
    Really, they should just have gone daily with the Andersonstown News. Although I suppose in a sense that’s exactly what they did.
    From a purely business perspective, also, the Andersonstown News Group has wasted an awful lot of effort and money that it could have ploughed into its new Dublin titles – which actually have the potential for growth and a good return.
    Vanity, thy name is Shinner!

  • peteb

    “Really, they should just have gone daily with the Andersonstown News.”


  • Mick Hall

    Most papers big or small have an element of vanity which drives their owners. But I don’t feel it has any thing much to do with Daily Ireland. The country desperately needs a radical daily, which is not subservient to the dominant economic theory of the day, i e the free market and globalization. True DI is not that paper yet; and it is a long shot as to whether it will ever be, but it has more potential to become it than any other paper currently published on the island of Ireland.

    Whilst I’m sure more cash would be welcomed, it is not the main component the paper needs, it needs to take risks with its content, thus it needs some controversial contributors from across the political and cultural spectrum. So the man in the street on reading the paper can turn to his mate and ask, “ did you read what so and so wrote in DI yesterday, the shit/funny guy/she/he has a point, etc, etc. The problem to date is there has been little that is new, different or risk taking, so people will stick with the paper they know as is the way with people and their newspapers.

    Still the naysayers have so far been proved wrong and the papers staff should be congratulated. Having said that, could do better is about right for me.

  • peteb

    “but it has more potential to become it than any other paper currently published on the island of Ireland.”


    I have little enough to argue with you about.. so allow me this.. on what basis do you found this statement?

    Because the paper in question began on a promise of profitability-based-on-politics model.. not a subsidy-by-government-advertisement model – which appears to be the current method of validation.

  • Waitnsee

    Mick, I don’t see DI ever becoming that paper – it is a party organ, and that imposes restrictions on it in terms of editorial/opinion in addition to those imposed by the market (i.e. not antoganising advertisers, potential advertisers, readers, investors etc.)
    So DI’s ‘radicalism’ (i.e. strongly tied to one party’s analysis) actually mitigates against it being radical at all.

    It’s taken the Irish News 30 years to learn this lesson and dump the slavishly SDLP line. It’s taken the News Letter 15 minutes to forget it and take a slavish DUP line. Will Daily Ireland ever take the Shinners with a pinch of salt?

  • Keith M

    Not wishing to be the little boy mocking the emporer’s new suit, but might I point out that less than 10,000 sales and a decreasing trend would be an awful performance for a “newspaper” on sale in both Northern Ireland and the Republic. Can I assume we’re only see sales in N.I. included in this number (not that sales in this country would even come close to that number I imagine)?

  • Confused

    As asked and only slightly answered (by Mick) on the other thread. If someone can answer? The question was based on the figure supplied by the publisher and is now adjusted with the figures confirmed by the ABC site.

    Using Actively Purchased figures.


    The Irish News sells 49,955 copies of the paper in the wider north


    The Andersonstown News sells 8,457 copies of the paper in greater Belfast


    Daily Ireland sells 9,787 copies of the paper in all of Ireland


    How is that considered “success”?


    40,000 fewer copies sold than the Irish News yet Daily Ireland is distributed in a larger area;

    Only 1,330 more copies sold than its sister publication, the Andersonstown News, which is restricted to a very narrow geographic area, while again Daily Ireland is sold and marketed to the whole of the island? Only 1,330 more people in all of Ireland are buying Daily Ireland than are buying the Andersonstown News in Belfast?

    This is success?


    Also: When do updated figures come in for the Andersonstown News in the same period, to compare impact of Daily Ireland on sales? Have 8,457 people in Belfast continued to purchase both papers on a Monday and Thursday or did they try out Daily Ireland and stick with it or have they gone back to the bi-weekly locals? More so than any impact on the Irish News will be the impact felt on Daily Ireland’s sister papers, does anyone think?

    If anyone, those who support Daily Ireland and those who are not fond of the paper, can explain how attracting 1,000 more readers from all across Ireland, than the Andersonstown News draws in Belfast, is to be considered a success?

  • Still confused

    Keith M, the figure discussed are for sales in the UK & ROI.

  • Confused

    One other question, if you please.

    If these sales figures mean that Daily Ireland will now qualify for government sponsored ads, does this mean that the recently terminated staff are going to be re-instated, or that the equivalent amount of new staff will be hired?

  • VerucaSalt

    Daily Ireland really is a dismal paper, to compare it to the Irish News just makes it look even more dismal. The only reason I have ever bought it was the first time out of curiosity and the second time because I wanted something to laugh at – the conspiracy theories about the British Armys radioactive waste in South Army is pure comic genius!

    On a purely practical level, Northern Ireland is flooded with papers, we really do not need anymore.

  • VerucaSalt

    oops, typo

    South Army should read South Armagh

  • Keith M

    “Confused”, thanks for the clarification. Now I can totally iunderstand your question. Less than 10,000 sales combined is a miserable performance. Several local papers in this country have higher circulations than that.

  • Ringo

    10000 copies is piss-poor in a supposed market of 6m people, and no amount of cheer-leading will change that.

    The Daily Mail is selling 9731 in the Republic alone. (You’re one of them crazy people aren’t you, KeithM 😉 )

  • Tom

    The Newspaper is dismal. Think about it the Newry Reporter sells 12,000 copies. The Derry Journal 20,000. Advertising spend is about demographic reach – 10,000 copies across Ireland is low. Plus if the paper is a second buy; ie the first buy is Irish News or Daily Mirror whose sales do not seem to be affected by Daily Ireland – then why would anyone advertise with DI when they can get a greater reach with a main stream paper.

  • daithi

    “The Daily Mail is selling 9731 in the Republic alone”

    Now I am confused.

  • Keith M

    Ringo, I take The Guardian as I always believe that to beat the arguement of your opponent, you have to understand if first and no newspaper defends old style big government and outdated leftty nonsense quite like The Guardian.

    Can I suggest the following the following to help the Daily Provo to keep going;

    Follow the trend of free CDs; how’s about “Your 20 favourite provo anthems”

    Follow cosmopolitan’s sex quiz how’s about “how opressed are you?”. They could develop their own MOPEry scale working down from a disabled black lesbian dwarf who only speaks Gaelic.

    Tits on page 3, starting with Barbie DeBrun

    Lots of simple quizzes with prizes for everyone.
    1st prize ; a weekend in South Armagh
    2nd prize ; a week in South Armagh
    Consolation prizes of 1000 “sniper at work” tshirts.

  • Mick Hall


    I suppose in truth I base my assessment more upon hope than reality, i.e. when the PRM stand their military wing down, a democratization of the movement may well occur given military discipline is re-leased, which will spill over into its media outlets.
    As some Shinners who post to Slugger show, there are people within SF who would welcome a more liberal and radical internal regime. Plus as I said, there is no paper which does not support globalization.


    You are correct in that the main problem with DI is it inability to criticize SF. If it does not break from this it will truly be an exercise in vanity publishing, as its readership will never go beyond the more conservative section of the PRM, let alone out into the wider community. Sure it is understandable and perfectly reasonable that it supports SF editorially, but to simply trumpet the Adam’s line makes it unviable. An example of this was the papers claim it was the only daily debating whether the PIRA should be stood down. Whereas in reality it simply published a series of articles by people who supported the standing down of the army. Whilst I myself welcomed these articles, a debate is about more than one point of view. Where were those who don’t support the standing down of the IRA.