It’s a lazy shorthand for saying, “people I’m better than.”
Godwin’s law states that the longer an online conversation goes on the probability of some comparing someone to the Nazis approaches 1. For Twitter, you can be fairly sure that the for any illiberal tweet that trends, a pejorative Daily Mail comment will feature in the first five replies.
This denigration of Daily Mail readers stems from what we might politely call the paper’s strong views. It also feeds off the idea that we are a divided nation. But this latter view is wrong.
As 2019’s Ofcom News Consumption Survey shows, very few people consume just one type of media. At a platform level, there’s huge crossover.
Indeed, as the below chart shows, the average person consumes 6.7 different sources of news from across different platforms. Minority Ethnic respondents used the highest number of sources at 8.2.
Interestingly, ABC1s (the more educated and skilled socioeconomic group) used 7.5 sources of news. The latest figures I could find, said that around two-thirds (65%) of the Mail’s readership was ABC1s. So the majority of Mail readers get their news from multiple sources. They’re not Mail readers, they are more interesting than that.
When we look at what the Mail’s readers think of it; a third (34%) don’t believe it’s accurate, 3 in 10 (29%) don’t believe it’s high quality, and half (48%) don’t believe it’s impartial.
And that’s for the print edition, when you go to the online edition (which has a much larger readership) three in five (61%) do not believe it’s accurate. Two in five (39%) online Mail readers say it helps them make up their mind.
So, in summary, Mail readers do not single source their news, they don’t believe what it says en masse, and they don’t necessarily adopt its opinions.
None of this should be taken as an argument that the Mail isn’t negative or that it doesn’t exert an influence over Britain’s national conversation. Of course, at times, it is and it does. However, its readers are not a uniform group. People should stop belittling them.