It was founded in 1881 and retained its original title for well over a century after its foundation, until being renamed The People in August 2002. It reversed the change in late 2012.
At times it’s been a bit of a mystery as to how The People has managed to keep going – it’s part of the Trinity Mirror group, who also publish the Sunday Mirror, and there’s not a great deal to distinguish it from its more successful sister paper. However, a conscious decision was made in 2003 to differentiate clearly between the two titles, including through the launch of an improved colour supplement for The People, Take It Easy.
As of late 2011 it was still selling some 800,000 copies every Sunday, but its circulation plummeted in the spring of 2012 to well under 500,000 and has stayed there ever since.
There are four editions: the main edition and three others:
- Republic of Ireland
- Northern Ireland
In January 2013 it was reported that a consortium led by Sue Douglas, former editor of the Sunday Express, was in preliminary talks with Trinity Mirror over the possible purchase of a majority stake in the People, possibly rebranding it News of the People as an echo of the titles of the People and the News of the World. (The domain newsofthepeople.co.uk was registered in Douglas’s name as long ago as June 2012, at a time when the NotW‘s demise looked distinctly likely if not imminent.)
The People no longer has a website of its own; in late 2012 it was relegated to a sub-domain of the Daily Mirror‘s website.