It’s Scotland’s oldest daily newspaper, although its roots lie in not one, but two Aberdeen newspapers.
The older of the two was the Aberdeen Journal, founded at the tail-end of 1747 (29 December). From 1768 to 1781 it added and North-British Magazine to the title. Then it spent more than a century – from 1797 to 1901 – as The Aberdeen Journal and General Advertiser for the North of Scotland, becoming the Aberdeen Daily Journal from 1901 to 1922.
So much for the Journal. Meanwhile, in 1845, a newspaper called The North of Scotland Gazette (“An advertising, commercial, and agricultural newspaper, for Aberdeen, and the northern counties”) had been founded. In 1853 it was renamed The Aberdeen Free Press and North of Scotland Review, but underwent a further change of title just two years later to The Aberdeen Free Press, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, and Buchan News, and North of Scotland Advertiser. It dropped the Peterhead, Fraserburgh, and Buchan News in 1869, and in 1872 became simply The Aberdeen Daily Free Press – the word “Daily” having been added apparently to distinguish it from a new sister publication, The Aberdeen Weekly Free Press. Both newspapers dropped Aberdeen from their respective titles in 1874. In 1901 The Daily Free Press became The Aberdeen Free Press.
In 1922 The Aberdeen Free Press and the Aberdeen Daily Journal amalgamated to become the Aberdeen Press and Journal. It adopted its present name in 1939.
It’s sometimes sneered at for its regional focus, which affects both the size and scope of its reporting on the wider world – it’s been nicknamed the “Parochial and Journal” for that.
There were six editions as of June 2013:
- Aberdeen City
- North East (Buchan)
- Inverness (also covers Nairn)
- Highlands & Islands
An earlier South edition covering Dundee, Perth, St Andrews and Brechin was discontinued in early 2011, and the area is now covered by the Highlands & Islands edition. All of them have been published in tabloid format only since January 2012, after some time of publishing as a tabloid only on Saturday, then (from 2011) on Monday as well.
All six editions are also available in digital versions online.