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January 25, 2023updated 08 Jan 2024 9:29am

Newsflation: UK national newspaper cover prices up 14% in a year

But still only one newspaper is more expensive than the average pint of lager.

By William Turvill

2024 update: UK national newspaper cover prices up 13% in past year since Jan 2023

National newspaper cover prices have increased 14% over the past year, research by Press Gazette has found.

It would currently cost £129.85 to buy every edition of Fleet Street titles in one week, up from £113.70 a year ago. In January 2013, before the closure of the print version of The Independent, the cost would have been £78.50, meaning a jump in price of 63% over the past decade.

Newspaper cover price inflation appears to have been slightly ahead of the UK’s national average, which hit 10.5% in December. Still, only one newspaper title, the FT Weekend (cover price: £4.80), is more expensive than the average pint of draught lager (£4.24 in December, according to the Office for National Statistics).

On a weekday, it would cost £17 to buy every Fleet Street daily – The Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, the i, Financial Times, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Mirror, The Sun and the Daily Star – from a newsagent, up from £14.80 in January 2022, or £9.60 in 2013 when The Independent was included in the count.

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On a Saturday, the cover prices of the national newspapers – The Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, FT Weekend, i Weekend, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and The Sun – add up to £23.75, up 16% year-on-year from £20.50. In January 2013, the total cost would have been £14.15.

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Sunday newspaper prices have risen more steadily. The total cost of Fleet Street's Sundays – The Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, The Observer, The Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Express, Sunday Mirror, Sunday People, Daily Star Sunday and The Sun on Sunday – is £21.10, up 10% from £19.20 a year ago and from £15.40 in January 2013.

The steepest price increases over the past year have been introduced by Reach, the UK's largest commercial news business. The Daily Express cost 80p per weekday in January 2022 and is now valued at £1.20, a 50% rise. The Saturday edition of the Daily Express now costs £1.75, up 35%, the Daily Star costs 80p, up 33%, and the Saturday edition of the Daily Star is now £1.30, up 30%.

The daily edition of the Star remains the joint cheapest Fleet Street newspaper alongside the i and The Sun, both of which cost 80p on weekdays. The most expensive individual newspapers are the FT Weekend (£4.80, up 12% on January 2022), The Guardian Saturday (£3.50, flat), The Observer (£3.50, flat) and The Sunday Times (£3.50, up 17% from £3 a year ago).

Publishers, which offer discounted issue rates through subscription packages, have raised cover prices in part to compensate for declines in circulation. Over the past year in particular, prices have been affected by the rising price of paper (as explained in Press Gazette's Pulp Friction feature). In July 2022 Reach revealed it had experienced a 65% annual jump in newsprint costs.

News publishers have switched much of their focus to building digital subscription or online advertising businesses in recent years.

Owen Meredith, chief executive of the News Media Association, which represents news publishers across the UK, said: "Despite cover price rises, news brands remain great value for money – they continue to expose, report, and investigate on behalf of their readers, all whilst battling challenges from the dominance of the tech platforms to the rising cost of newsprint."

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  • Head of Department/Function
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  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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