Newspaper of record

The New York Times Building in New York City, United States; some meanings of the term "newspaper of record" originated in reference to The New York Times

A newspaper of record is a major newspaper that has a large circulation and whose editorial and news-gathering functions are considered professional and typically authoritative. A newspaper of record may also be a publicly available newspaper that has been authorized or maintained by a government to publish public or legal notices, and therefore serves as a "newspaper of public record".[1]

Newspapers of public record

A "newspaper of public record", sometimes referred to as an "official newspaper", refers to a publicly available newspaper that has been authorised by a government to publish public or legal notices.[2] It is often established by statute or official action and publication of notices within it, whether by the government or a private party, is usually considered sufficient to comply with legal requirements for public notice.[3]

In some jurisdictions, privately owned newspapers may register with the public authorities to publish public and legal notices, or be otherwise eligible to publish said notices (terms used may include "newspaper of general circulation" among others).[4][5][6] Likewise, a private newspaper may be designated by the courts for publication of legal notices, such as notices of fictitious business names. These are sometimes referred to as "legally adjudicated newspapers".[7]

A variation of newspapers of public record are those newspapers controlled by governments or political parties that serve as official newspapers reflecting the positions of their controlling bodies. State organs such as the Soviet-era Izvestia (the name of which translates to "delivered messages", derived from the verb izveshchat which means "to inform", "to notify")[8] and the People's Daily in China[9][10][11][12][13] are examples of this type.

Newspapers of record (by reputation)

The second type of "newspaper of record" (also known as a "journal of record", or by the French term presse de référence) is not defined by any formal criteria and its characteristics can be variable. The category typically consists of those newspapers that are considered to meet higher standards of journalism than most print media, including editorial independence and attention to accuracy, and are usually renowned internationally.[14][15] Despite changes in society, such newspapers have historically tended to maintain a similar tone, coverage, style, and traditions.[14]

Origin of the term

The term is believed to have originated among librarians, who began referring to The New York Times as the "newspaper of record" when, in 1913, it became the first U.S. newspaper to publish an index of the subjects covered in its pages.[16] In recognition of the usage, the Times held an essay contest in 1927 in which entrants had to demonstrate "The Value of The New York Times Index and Files as a Newspaper of Record". The Times, and other newspapers of its type, then sought to be chroniclers of events, acting as a record of the day's announcements, schedules, directories, proceedings, transcripts and appointments. The Times no longer considers itself a newspaper of record in the original, literal sense.[17]

Over time, historians began to rely on The New York Times and similar titles as a reliable archival record of significant past events and a gauge of societal opinions at the time of printing. The term "newspaper of record" thus evolved from its original literal sense to its currently understood meaning.[16]


Country Newspaper City of publication Founded Language Source(s)
Argentina La Nación La Nación Buenos Aires 1870 Spanish [18]
Australia The Age Melbourne 1854 English [19]
Australia The Sydney Morning Herald logo The Sydney Morning Herald Sydney 1831 English [19][20]
Austria Die Presse logo Die Presse Vienna 1848
Staff split in 1864 to form Neue Freie Presse, aryanized by the Nazis in 1938 and closed in 1939, reestablished as Die Presse in 1946[21]
German [22]
Bangladesh The Daily Star logo The Daily Star Dhaka 1991 English [23]
Brazil O Estado de S. Paulo O Estado de S. Paulo São Paulo 1875 Portuguese [24][25]
Belgium Le Soir Le Soir Brussels 1887 French [26]
Belgium De Standaard De Standaard Groot-Bijgaarden 1918
Incorporated in 1914, but publication delayed due to the First World War.
Dutch [26]
Canada The Globe and Mail The Globe and Mail Toronto 1844
Successor to The Globe (founded 1844), The Toronto Mail (1872) and Toronto Empire (1887); papers merged in 1895 and 1936
English [27][28][29][30][31][32][33]
Canada Le Devoir Le Devoir Montreal 1910 French [34]
Canada La Presse La Presse Montreal 1884 French [35][36]
Chile El Mercurio Santiago 1900
Spun off from El Mercurio de Valparaíso (founded 1827)
Spanish [37]
Egypt Al-Ahram Cairo 1875 Arabic [38][39]
France Le Figaro Le Figaro Paris 1826
Le Figaro is France's oldest national newspaper still operating to this date.[40]
French [41][42]
France Le Monde Le Monde Paris 1944
Founded as a successor to the discredited collaborationist Le Temps (founded 1861).
French [43][44]
Germany Die Zeit Die Zeit Hamburg 1946
German [45]
Germany Die Welt Die Welt Hamburg 1946 German [46]
Germany Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Frankfurt 1949
Considered successor to the Frankfurter Zeitung (founded 1856), banned in 1943 by the Nazis
German [47][48]
Germany Süddeutsche Zeitung Süddeutsche Zeitung Munich 1945
German [45]
Greece Kathimerini Athens 1919 Greek [49]
Hong Kong, China The South China Morning Post South China Morning Post Hong Kong 1903 English [50]
India The Times of India The Times of India Mumbai 1838
Named The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce until mergers in 1860–1.
English [51]
Indonesia Kompas Kompas Jakarta 1965 Indonesian [52][53]
Iran Ettela'at Ettela'at Tehran 1926 Persian [54][55]
Ireland The Irish Times The Irish Times Dublin 1859 English [56]
Israel Haaretz Haaretz Tel Aviv 1919 Hebrew and English [57][58][59][60]
Italy Corriere della Sera Corriere della Sera Milan 1876 Italian [61][62]
Jamaica The Gleaner Kingston 1834 English [63][64]
Japan Asahi Shimbun Osaka 1879 Japanese [65]
Kenya Daily Nation Nairobi 1960
Originated as the Swahili Taifa in 1958.
English [66][67]
Malaysia New Straits Times New Straits Times Kuala Lumpur 1965
Spun off from The Straits Times (founded 1845) upon Singapore's independence.
English [68]
Netherlands NRC Handelsblad Amsterdam 1970
Merger of Algemeen Handelsblad (founded 1828) and Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant (1844).
Dutch [69]
New Zealand The New Zealand Herald Auckland 1863 English [70][71]
Norway Aftenposten Aftenposten Oslo 1860 Riksmål [72]
Philippines Philippine Daily Inquirer Philippine Daily Inquirer Manila 1985 English [73][74]
Portugal Diário de Notícias Diário de Notícias Lisbon 1864 Portuguese [75]
Serbia Danas Belgrade 1997 Serbian [76]
Serbia Politika Politika Belgrade 1904 Serbian [77]
Singapore The Straits Times The Straits Times Singapore 1845 English [68]
South Korea Chosun Ilbo Chosun Ilbo Seoul 1920
Suspended between 1940 and 1945 by the Japanese imperial authorities.
Korean [78]
Spain El País El País Madrid 1976 Spanish [79]
Sweden Dagens Nyheter Dagens Nyheter Stockholm 1864 Swedish [80][81]
Switzerland Neue Zürcher Zeitung Neue Zürcher Zeitung Zurich 1780 German [82]
Turkey Hürriyet Istanbul 1948 Turkish [83]
United Kingdom The Daily Telegraph The Daily Telegraph London 1855 English [84]
United Kingdom The Times London 1785
Named The Daily Universal Register until 1788.
English [84]
United States Los Angeles Times Los Angeles 1881 English [65]
United States The New York Times The New York Times New York City 1851 English [85]
United States The Wall Street Journal The Wall Street Journal New York City 1889 English [86]
United States The Washington Post The Washington Post Washington, D.C. 1877 English [65]


  1. Martin, Shannon E. (1998). Newspapers of Record in a Digital Age: From Hot Type to Hot Link. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. p. 1. ISBN 0-275-95960-0.
  2. Martin, Shannon E. (1998). Newspapers of record in a digital age: from hot type to hot link. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. p. 5. ISBN 0-275-95960-0.
  3. Black's Law Dictionary, 6th edn. West Publishing. 1990. ISBN 90-6544-631-1.
  4. See, for example, L.N. 362 of 1997 of The Government of The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Gazette
  5. [For example, see Texas Local Government Code - Section 52.004. Official Newspaper]
  6. "City of McCleary, Official Newspaper".
  7. "Fictitious Names: Adjudicated Newspapers". County Clerk. County of Sonoma. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  8. "Izvestiia Digital Archive 1917-2010. Online access to the Kremlin's newspaper of record" (PDF). Minneapolis, MN: East View Information Services. p. 5. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  9. Frederick, Brian (2005-05-09). "Genocide v. Civil Conflict: Comparing Coverage of the Darfur Crisis in the New York Times and the People's Daily" (PDF). University of Colorado at Boulder. The New York Times and the People's Daily were chosen because of their status as their respective countries' "newspaper of record." In the case of the People's Daily, it is the official newspaper of record.
  10. Mattis, Michael (November 1995). "(Not) Wild about Harry". Prism. With a circulation over three million the People's Daily is the official newspaper of China's Communist Party. It is the newspaper of record for state socialism in China.
  11. "Officials Warn Against Rural Instability". China News Digest. 2002-01-11. On Tuesday the People's Daily, the Communist Party's newspaper of record, published a front-page article and a strongly worded editorial
  12. "Research Databases". University of Massachusetts Amherst. 2012-02-10. People's Daily (Ren Min Ri Bao): Chinese newspaper of record, 1946-present.
  13. Badiou, Alain. The Rational Kernel of the Hegelian Dialectic (PDF). p. xx. Among the venues that published philosophically charged writings... during the heat of the GPCR were Renmin Ribao (People's Daily, the newspaper of record that continues to be so today)
  14. 1 2 Salles, Chloë (January 2010). "Media Coverage of the Internet: An Acculturation Strategy for Press of Record?" (PDF). Innovation Journalism. 7 (1): 5.
  15. Martin, Shannon (1998). Newspapers of Record in a Digital Age: From Hot Type to Hot Link. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. pp. 6, 27, 31. ISBN 0275959600.
  16. 1 2 Martin, Shannon E. (1998). Newspapers of record in a digital age: from hot type to hot link. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. p. 7. ISBN 0-275-95960-0.
  17. Okrent, Daniel. "THE PUBLIC EDITOR; Paper of Record? No Way, No Reason, No Thanks". The New York TImes. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  18. Vigón, Mercedes (July 12, 2013). "Journalism ethics is 'personal and non-transferable'" (Interview). Interview with International Press Institute.
  19. 1 2 Simons, Margaret; Buller, Bradley (December 2013). "Journals of Record - Measure of Quality, or Dead Concept?". Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  20. "What We're Reading". The New York Times. 14 October 2011. Archived from the original on 6 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  21. "Die Presse - Die Geschichte". Archived from the original on 2014-02-06.
  22. "Die Presse". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 2013-10-13.
  23. "The Daily Star". Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  24. "O Estado de S. Paulo". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 10 October 2013. It is's newspaper of record. O Estado is sometimes called the "New York Times of Latin America” because of its grave editorial demeanour.
  25. Fabricio, Roberto (16 April 1992). "Brazilian Officers Issue Manifesto". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 10 October 2013. The statement, published on Tuesday by O Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil`s newspaper of record, was datelined in Fortaleza, a mid-sized city in northeastern Brazil.
  26. 1 2 "The press in Belgium". BBC News. 2005-11-16.
  27. "The Globe and Mail". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  28. "CANADIAN STUDIES RESOURCES - Canadian Studies Databases and Indexes". Michigan Canadian Studies Roundtable. 2006-09-05. Archived from the original on 2008-07-08.
  29. Agence France-Presse (2009-01-11). "Globe and Mail to cut jobs". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  30. "What's behind the shake up at 'Canada's newspaper of record'?". 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  31. Buchanan, Carrie (March 2009). Gasher, Mike, ed. "Sense of Place in the Daily Newspaper" (PDF). Aether: The Journal of Media Geography. 4: 62–84 [70]. Retrieved 14 October 2012. [T]he Toronto-based Globe and Mail has had the kind of success in Canada that the New York Times had enjoyed in the U.S., as the leading 'newspaper of record' with a national readership.
  32. Jiwani, Yasmin (2009). "Helpless Maidens and Chivalrous Knights: Afghan Women in the Canadian Press". University of Toronto Quarterly. 2. 78: 728–744. doi:10.3138/utq.78.2.728. This essay interrogates representations of Afghan women in the Globe and Mail, Canada's major English-language daily and newspaper of record.
  33. Roger Keil; S. Harris Ali (2011). Networked Disease: Emerging Infections in the Global City. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 144439911X. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  34. "Les parlementaires québécois et Le Devoir dans le monde des médias". Communication, Vol. 29 No. 2 (2012).
  35. "Where's Mario". Maclean's. 2008-08-25. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  36. "Endorsements, opinions flourish in Quebec". 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  37. "El fenómeno de Bachelet pone en jaque a la derecha chilena". BBC Mundo. 2013-11-07. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
  38. Middle East Institute, 1950, p. 155.|quote=Al Ahram is... what The Times is to Englishmen and the New York Times to Americans
  39. Perreault, Gregory (2011). "Islam is Everywhere": Coverage of Islam in the English Egyptian Press". Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly: 14. Retrieved 10 October 2013. This is significant because the state-run Al Ahram is considered the paper of record in Egypt
  40. paidContent. "Le Figaro opts for freemium web model". the Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  41. "Le Figaro". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  42. "Le Monde, whose print edition comes out around lunchtime, was launched at the end of Nazi occupation of France in 1944 and took on the role of France's newspaper of record alongside the more conservative Le Figaro." - France's Le Monde newspaper editor quits after power struggle with staff, Reuters, May the 14th, 2014
  43. Thomas Fuller (2003-08-25). "World of Le Monde looks set to expand". International Herald Tribune.
  44. "France profile". BBC News. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014. Le Monde - respected national daily, considered to be France's newspaper of record
  45. 1 2 "Gloves off in German Media Scramble". The New York Times. The New York Times. 13 March 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  46. "Die Welt | German newspaper". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  47. "German language reform resisted". The Washington Times. 29 May 2004.
  48. "Look back at the Britannica Calendar of Events to find out what happened in the year 2000". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  49. "Greece - Post Report - e Diplomat". Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  50. Lanchester, John (2008). Family Romance: A Love Story. 0143112953: Penguin. p. 140. The clippings are from the South China Morning Post, the paper of record in Hong Kong
  51. Wilke, Mary; Manicini, Lawrence; Leonard, Spencer (Fall 2007). "Some recent CRL acquisitions related to colonial India". Centre for Research Libraries - Focus on Global Resources.
  52. The Politics of Post-Suharto Indonesia. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  53. "Kompas Group Is Back on TV, This Time With Local Partners". The Jakarta Globe. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  54. "Iran Media Guide". FRONTLINE - Tehran Bureau. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  55. Journalism in Iran. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  56. Dwan, David (April 2009). "The Irish Times, book review". The London Standard. Retrieved 26 May 2014. Today, the Irish Times is one of Ireland's most authoritative journals – the newspaper of record for political and intellectual elites from Mayo to Monkstown. Mark O'Brien provides a detailed and colourful account of this transformation. His history of the Irish Times is also the story of modern Ireland: it tracks the newspaper's sceptical response to the emergence of the Free State in 1922 and the declaration of the Republic in 1949; it also examines its fractious relationship with the nation's governments and political figureheads from Eamon de Valera (whom the paper repeatedly compared to Hitler) to Bertie Ahern.
  57. Israel — Hebrew- and English-Language Media Guide Open Source Center (16 September 2008)
  58. Gregory Levey (21 August 2008). "Pushing right-wing American politics — in Israel". Salon. Retrieved 24 January 2014. In the past few months, Haaretz, Israel's paper of record, has run a series of articles expressing misgivings about outside influence.
  59. Brant Rosen (11 May 2010). "Alan Dershowitz and the Politics of Desperation". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 January 2014. Recent polling, alongside articles in both the New York Times and the Israeli paper of record, Ha'aretz, indicate that the American Jewish community no longer feels represented by our so-called representatives - if we ever did.
  60. Gershom Gorenberg (September 2002). "The Thin Green Line". Mother Jones. Retrieved 24 January 2014. In late January, the declaration ran as an ad in Ha'aretz, the national paper of record...
  61. Israely, Jeff; Macleod, Scott (1 June 2003). "Editing Out Criticism". Time.
  62. Grove, Lloyd (6 February 1998). "Diplomatic Affinity". Los Angeles Times.
  63. Buckman, Robert T. Latin America 2013. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 247. ISBN 978-1475804775.
  64. Surlin, Stuart H.; Soderlund, Walter C. (1990). Mass Media and the Caribbean. Taylor & Francis. p. 20. ISBN 9782881244476.
  65. 1 2 3 Merrill, John C. (June 2000). "Les quotidiens de référence dans le monde" (PDF). Les cahiers du journalisme (in French). Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  66. - Retrieved 14 March 2005. Archived September 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  67. Benesch, Susan (21 March 2013). "The Kenyan Elections: Peace Happened". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 October 2013. Kenya's newspaper of record, the Daily Nation, published a banner headline "Never Again" over an editorial with a sharp, eloquent warning
  68. 1 2 Christopher, H. Sterling. "A - C., Volume 1". Encyclopedia of Journalism. p. 108.
  69. Waterfield, Bruno (4 March 2010). "Geert Wilders on course to be next Dutch prime minister". The Daily Telegraph.
  72. ,
  73. "Actor-politicians and understanding the vote of the poor". The Manila Times. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  74. Claudio, Leloy. "Reform the country's 'paper of record". GMA News. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  75. Hubred, Joni. "Portugal Press, Media, TV, Radio, Newspapers".
  76. "Danas". presseurop. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2013. Left leaning, Danas has become the independent daily of record in Serbia ...
  77. "Grigorev Commentary in Politika: Serbs Vote is Pragmatic". The Bulletin Arcadia University. 1 February 2011. Archived from the original on 8 January 2016. ... wrote a commentary in the Jan. 26 issue of Politika, the Serbian newspaper of record and the oldest daily in the Balkans.
  78. Dediu, Horace (19 May 2012). "An interview with Kenney Ho of The Chosun Daily of Korea". Asymco. Retrieved 10 October 2013. The Chosunilbo "has a history of 90 years, has been the most dominant, and influential paper of all time in Korea. It is the No.1 newspaper company in Korea with more than 1.8 million circulation, firmly holding the largest market possession. The paper is recognized Asianwide, where there are many readers in Japan and China.”
  79. Phillips, Lindsay (18 December 2002). "Spanish and U.S. Relationship During the "War on Terror"". EU Notes — Texas A&M University.
  80. "PRESIDENT'S INTERVIEW WITH AL-ARABIYA RECEIVES GOOD COVERAGE IN SWEDEN". Retrieved 10 October 2013. Paper of record Dagens Nyheter gave limited coverage, on the paper's website.
  81. "Immigrants outraged over Sweden's racial profiling". The Standard. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's paper of record.
  82. "Neue Zürcher Zeitung". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  83. "Reports: Israel to apologize for flotilla raid". Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  84. 1 2 "The UK's 'other paper of record'". BBC News. 2004-01-19. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
  85. "The New York Times". Encyclopædia Britannica.
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