The British press is establishing itself in America like never before with Reach the latest launch US websites

Harry and Meghan may say they fled the UK for California to escape the media, but the truth is that the British media is gaining a foothold in the US like never before.

Reach, Britain’s largest news publisher, is preparing to launch its Mirror and Express US sites and recruiting about 100 journalists to work in its New York office. US Sun, an offshoot of Rupert Murdoch’s British company Redtop, is the fastest-growing news site in the US; it had 267 million page views in November, up 110% from 2021 %.

Three British newspapers – The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Independent – ​​rank among the top eight written media sites in the US, along with the New York Times, New York Post, Washington Post, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times. As a digital-only site, The Independent outperformed BuzzFeed, HuffPost and Vox, according to ComScore data for September.

In their Netflix series, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex try to turn the anchor’s global audience against the British tabloids and their outlandish methods. They rightly accused racial bias and intrusive reporting, accusing rival royals of collusion. Harry even blamed the Post for Meghan’s miscarriage.

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With crude attacks like Jeremy Clarkson’s latest column in The Sun, the Sussexes deserve sympathy, even if their own media campaigns make them unpopular. But American audiences can now judge British titles for themselves, and they look a lot like what they read.

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The Daily Mail now averages 70 million monthly unique visitors in the US, and its November traffic was up 7 percent from last year. It operates sprawling newsrooms in New York and Los Angeles and has a permanent seat in the White House briefing room.

It hired top US commentators, including Meghan McCain from ABC News and Maureen Callahan from the New York Post. The American mass media was attracted by the strength of the Daily Mail’s on-the-ground coverage and willingness to buy pictures. Since launching the US site in 2011 with a small team, its reach has soared.

The American Guardian began airing the same year, prompting American media coverage of the “British Invasion.” Today, it has 120 reporters and offices in Los Angeles, Washington, DC and New York. Americans make up 30% of The Guardian’s global audience. The American Guardian, edited by American Betsy Reed, had 249 million page views in November, up 10% year-on-year.

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The Sun has been slower to hit the market, launching in 2020. Through gradual investment, it has grown to nearly 100 journalists. It shares New York offices with Murdoch’s New York Post, Wall Street Journal and Fox News colleagues. Sun reporters are based on the West Coast, Florida, Texas and Chicago.

The Daily Mail has hired top US commentators, including Meghan McCain from ABC News
The Daily Mail has hired top US commentators, including Meghan McCain from ABC News

Natalie Evans, editor of the US Sun, estimates that more than 70 percent of the reporters in her young newsroom are women. A similar percentage is for Americans. “You need those native-born Americans,” she said. “Our aim is to be an American website for an American audience, we don’t want to be a bunch of Brits telling Americans what they should read.”

The U.S. Sun was ahead of its rivals in covering stories from America’s heartland, including the murder of Gabby Petito, a YouTuber who was strangled to death by her fiancé on a road trip in Wyoming. It revealed that Steven Spielberg’s daughter was working as a porn actress.

The Sun’s digital director, Will Payne, believes the Sun has a less formal voice than the American tabloids. “Our communication style is to the point, very chatty.” He claims the site is “scratching the surface” in potential audience numbers, but admits its journey has been a “struggle”, depending on News Corp’s unwavering support.

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Now, Reach is making a similar bet on the US. Ben Rankin, Reach’s national audience director, said the potential collaboration made him “very confident” of success. “One thing we have that our competitors don’t is that we’re going to have two games and a new game.” Reach also launched Irish Star (based on the Irish version of the Daily Star, aimed at Irish-Americans).

The Mirror and Express sites will focus on news, sports and entertainment. Rankin believes the Mirror could stand out from other tabloids by showing greater “compassion” in its reporting, as its print edition aims to do. The Express’s coverage of politics and the royal family has attracted a large American audience.

Nic Newman of the Reuters Institute of Journalism said British brands had to be “very unique” to succeed in the US. Those who do, Douglas McCabe of Enders Analysis said, may be “a natural second choice for American audiences”. More than a decade after the British invasion, the British media took root in the United States. Meghan and Harry won’t change that.


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