Originally founded in 1891 as an anti-Parnellite paper, it’s generally regarded as moderately Nationalist and social democratic in its stance these days. Its original title was simply Irish News (without the The). For over a century from 1892 it bore the title The Irish News and Belfast Morning News, but it adopted its present title in 1994.
It’s been owned by the Fitzpatrick family since 1982 and claims to be the only Province-wide independently-owned newspaper. In recent years it’s launched three FM radio channels and an online video news service, IN.tv.
Until recently its website didn’t carry any news itself – it was a vehicle for viewing the paid e-edition of the paper (and for selling it, along with apps for iPad and iPhone) and for promoting the paper to potential advertisers. However, a revamp in 2012 means that it now has substantial news coverage on the site too.