The readership of newspapers in the UK in their print version compared to their online presence is quite different.
I believe this is because of the variation in their popularity online (which may be an indicator of their appeal to younger audiences).
And it may also be about the newspapers differing reputations in countries outside the UK (where Wikipedia contributors are from).
First, let’s look at the top eight newspapers in terms of circulation.
According to the latest figures from PressGazette (as of November 2021), Metro tops the list.
But there is a massive disparity in rankings and numbers when we look at the number of citations the websites of these newspapers get within Wikipedia articles.
To determine these numbers, I used a simple query shown below:
Site: wikipedia.org “newspaperwebsitedomain”
For example, for The Guardian, it was:
Site: wikipedia.org “Theguardian.com”
I used the inverted commas because that’s how you can get an exact match.
Now let’s view the circulation vs Wikipedia backlinks results side-by-side for the top eight newspapers (sorted by circulation level).
- Metro – 1,050,817 average circulation and 6,270 Wikipedia citations for Metro.co.uk.
- Daily Mail – 908,510 average circulation and 17,100 Wikipedia citations for Dailymail.co.uk.
- Mail On Sunday – 789,705 average circulation and 40 Wikipedia citations for Mailonsunday.co.uk.
- Evening Standard – 439,445 average circulation and 2,440 Wikipedia citations for Standard.co.uk.
- Daily Mirror – 336,814 (603,432 if Sunday Mirror added) average circulation and 6,720 Wikipedia citations for Mirror.co.uk.
Now, this data doesn’t include The Sun because it keeps its official readership numbers private currently (but which had much higher circulation – over 3 million if The Sun On Sunday is added – in March 2020.
But Thesun.co.uk has just 2,850 Wikipedia citations.
Another major newspaper, The Guardian, doesn’t reveal the latest circulation numbers either (though it stood at 105,134 in July 2021).
But interestingly, it is trendy in terms of Wikipedia citations, with a whopping 59.600 of them!