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THE BRITISH PRESS
In Britain there are two distinct kinds of newspapers and most Britons read them sun or rain. They are quality newspapers (serious papers or broadsheets) and tabloids (the gutter press, the popular press or the yellow press).
The quality newspapers are large in size and have detailed articles on both national and international current affairs. These are the Daily Telegraph, the Times, the Guardian, the Independent, the Financial Times and the Observer.
The tabloids are smaller in size, have more pictures, shorter articles, often about private lives of celebrities and any kind of scoop. These are the Daily express, the Daily Mail, the Daily Star, the Sun, the Today and the Daily Mirror.
There are over 120 dailyand Sunday newspapers and over 1,100 weekly newspapersin all parts of Britain. They cover both local news as well as national and international stories. These newspapers include certain specialized newspapers with circulationlimited not by regions but by interest, for instance, business, sporting and religious newspapers, and newspapers in foreign languages.
Sunday newspapers are larger than daily newspapers. There is also often a magazine, called the colour supplement.
Unlike most of its European counterparts the British press receives no subsidies and relatively few tax and postal concessions. Registered newspapers receive a concession on postal rates and "per word" rates for international press telegrams and photo telegrams.
Newspapers arealmost always financially independent of any political party, but this doesn't mean that they do not follow any specific political line. Most newspapers either left-wing or right-wing express a political opinion and people choose the newspaper according to their political beliefs.
The British press is subject to the general law on publications according to the requirements of which all the newspapers and periodicals must be registered. There are no specific press laws but certain statutesinclude sections which apply to the press. They relate to restrictions on the reporting of certain types of court proceedings; restrictions onthe publications of advertisements which are governed by Acts dealing with the publication of false or misleading descriptions of goods and services and with fraud, and advertisements of remedies for certain diseases, which are covered by public health legislation.
Of particular relevance to the press are such laws as those on contempt of court, official secrets, libel and defamation. A newspaper may not publish comments on the conduct of judicial proceedings which are likely to prejudice their reputation for fairness.
The obtaining and publication of information from state and official sources of a confidential or security nature is affected by the official secret legislation.
2. Comprehensive questions:
1. What are two main kinds of newspapers in Britain? What are their major points of difference?
2. How many daily and Sunday newspapers are there in Britain? What factors determine the range of British newspapers?
3. Is there any financial help given to the British press by the government?
4. Is there any link between British newspapers and political parties?
5. What legal documents regulate activities of the British press? What restrictions do they impose?
6. Are there any specific laws on the press and information?