The News Letter is a daily tabloid paper published on Mondays to Saturdays in Belfast since 1737 and thus claims to be the world’s oldest continuously published daily English-language newspaper (although originally it appeared three times a week; it didn’t become a daily until 1855). It’s sold widely throughout Northern Ireland.
It’s published by Morton Newspapers and has been owned by the UK-wide group of regional and local newspapers Johnston Press since 2005.
Initially a radical Presbyterian newspaper and thus Nationalist (which in the context of eighteenth-century Irish politics meant something rather different from what it does today), by the mid-nineteenth century it had become strongly Unionist and conservative politically, and remains so today.
At the time of its foundation by Francis Joy and his two sons Henry and Robert it was called The Belfast News-Letter and General Advertiser, becoming simply The Belfast News-Letter and General Advertiser. Legally, it’s still registered as the Belfast News Letter, but the word “Belfast” was dropped from the masthead in 1962.
It claimed a major scoop in 1776 when the ship carrying a copy of the Declaration of Independence to London was forced into harbour in Derry by a storm. The document was carried for transhipment to Belfast, where the News Letter‘s editor took his own copy and printed the complete text on the paper’s front page.
- News Letter
The Metro Building
6-9 Donegall Square South
- 028 9089 7700
- 028 9089 7744