This exclusive list of the top 10 most read newspapers is compiled keeping in mind the developments and demands of the 21st century. The list of the most read newspapers would be incomplete without including their online readership. Especially, in the times when print circulations are declining while online readership is increasing for most of the papers. Therefore, we have taken into account not only the daily circulation of the newspapers but also their respective website’s monthly unique visitors. It is true that when lists for print circulation and online readership of newspapers are compiled separately, the titles do not coincide very often. It has been noted that newspapers with a strong circulation number do not necessarily have an equally strong online readership; due to this reason, most of such newspapers ended up ranking low or not at all in this list. This list includes newspapers from all around the world: the United Kingdom, China, India, Japan, and the United States. It is important to mention here that we are not ranking the newspapers on their quality of journalism; only the number of readership which might or might not be reflective of the quality. In addition, newspapers with unavailable online data have been excluded from this list.
10. Daily Telegraph (British)
Daily Telegraph is a United Kingdom based newspaper founded in 1855. According to our research, it has a total readership of around 8.9 million. The bulk of this total comes from its online readership which is around 8.2 million. As far as the print circulation is concerned, it was around 63 thousand in early 2013. Amongst other awards, Telegraph has earned the National Newspaper of The Year Award in 2010 by the British Press Awards. Also, its writers have received Columnist of The Year award, thrice in a row (2002-2004).
9. The Times of India (Indian)
The Times of India, founded in 1838, is an Indian based English language daily newspaper. Its total readership (print and online) is around 15 million the bulk of which comes from its online readership (approximately 12 million). It has a print circulation of around 3 million and ranks 3rd in the list of top 10 most circulated newspapers. Also, the Indian Readership Survey, 2012, named the Times of India as the most read English newspaper in India.
8. Asahi Shimbun (Japanese)
Asahi Shimbun is one of the five national newspapers in Japan. It is a Japanese language newspaper founded in 1879. It now also has an online portal for English readers. Its print circulation was around 7 million while its online readership was also around 7 million. Hence, its total readership is approximately 14.7 million. It is ranked 2nd in the list of the World’s Top 10 most circulated newspapers, just behind the number one Yominuri Shimbun (another Japanese paper).
7. The Wall Street Journal (American)
The Wall Street Journal, founded in 1872, is an American international newspaper. It has a total readership of around 16.4 million where around 13.9 million are online unique visitors. Its print circulation is approximately 2.4 million copies. It is the United States’ largest circulated newspaper. It has won 35 Pulitzer Prizes which include 1987 RJR Nabisco buyout coverage, 1997 AIDS treatment, 2001 9/11 coverage, 2007 stock option scandal (Prize for Public Service), and 2010 Mc Donald’s healthcare issue.
6. The Sun (British)
Launched in 1964, The Sun is a daily newspaper published in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It has a total readership of around 22.9 million where the bulk is of online readership. Its print circulation is about 2.7 million making it the 9th largest circulated newspaper in the world. Also, it is the largest circulated daily newspaper in the United Kingdom. The Sun has earned many British Press Awards including the Cudlipp Award for excellence in tabloid journalism (2000, 2005, & 2008) and its reporters have won Reporter of the Year awards five times (2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, & 2008).
5. Washington Post (American)
The Washington Post, founded in 1877, is an American daily newspaper. It is Washington’s most circulated newspaper. Its total readership is around 26.4 million where about 26 million are from online readership. Its daily circulation is approximately 474 thousand. The Washington Post is famous for its investigation of the Watergate Scandal regarding the President Nixon by the famous reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. This newspaper has received many awards including 47 Pulitzer Prizes, 18 Nieman Fellowships, and 368 White House News Photographers Association awards.
4. People’s Daily (Chinese)
People’s Daily is a Chinese daily newspaper owned by the Communist Party of China. It has a total readership of around 36 million where 33 million are online readers. It has a daily circulation of around 3 million. Its main edition is in Chinese language but it also has other editions in various other languages including English, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Arabic. Controlled by the Communist Party’s top leadership, it has been considered as an authoritative source of the Chinese government’s policies, both locally and internationally.
3. The Guardian (British)
Originally founded in 1821, The Guardian is a British national daily newspaper. It has a total readership of around 39 million where the bulk is of online readers (38.9 million). It has a circulation of around 204 thousand. The Guardian is not only the giver of two major literary awards (the Guardian First Book Award and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize) but is also the receiver of many awards. Its reporters have won the Reporter, the Foreign Reporter, Columnist, the Cartoonist, and the Feature Writer of the Year awards. It has also received Bevinz Prize. Its website has been named as the Best Newspaper for three years: 2005-7. For six years in a row, The Guardian has been receiving the British Press Awards for the Best Electronic Daily Newspaper. For such marvelous performance, it has been placed 4th amongst the Top 10 most read newspapers of the world.
2. The New York Times (American)
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper launched in 1851. It has a total readership of around 50.5 million where around 48.6 million are online readers making it one of the America’s most popular newspapers. Its daily circulation (apart from Sunday) is approximately 1.8 million. It is not only the largest local newspaper but also America’s 3rd largest newspaper. It has won an amazing number of 112 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. It is owned by The New York Times Company which publishes 18 other newspapers including the International Herald Tribune.
1. Daily Mail (British)
Launched in 1896, the Daily Mail is a British newspaper. It has a total readership of a massive 128.6 million and due to this reason it is ranked 1st in our list of Top 10 most read newspapers of the World. The bulk of its readership is from online readers who form an enormous proportion of approximately126.7 million. Its daily circulation is around 1.8 million copies. It is the United Kingdom’s second most selling newspaper after The Sun but is far above in this list due to its great online readership. The Daily Mail was the first British newspaper to sell a million copies. From the beginning, its publications included content for women audience and for this reason it is still said to be the only newspaper with more than 50% female readership.