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The Times was founded in 1785 by the editor and publisher John Walter I, “to record the principal occurrences of the times” for the service of the public. It was called the Daily Universal Register for the first three years, until it rebranded as The Times in 1788 – the first newspaper in the world to use the Times name.

In his first edition, John Walter I explained that “like a well-covered table, it should contain something suited to every palate” including politics, foreign affairs, matters of trade, legal trials, advertisements and “amusements”. In its tone and political neutrality, Walter reserved the right of the newspaper “to censure or applaud either [political party]” and to cover contending issues with respectful “fair argument”.

More than 200 years on, these founding principles hold true today. The Times has supported both New Labour and the Conservatives in recent times and supported Remain in the 2016 EU referendum.

The Sunday Times was founded in 1822 as a separate newspaper and has a history of innovation stretching from a female proprietor in 1887 and a female editor in 1894, through to pioneering the publication of large illustrations, book serialisations, separate sections and the first colour magazine supplement in 1962. The Sunday Times supported Leave in the 2016 EU referendum.

The Times and The Sunday Times were first held under common ownership by Lord Thomson in 1966 as Times Newspapers Limited (TNL) and were bought by Rupert Murdoch in 1981. TNL, which is governed by a board of independent directors and a set of legal undertakings that protect the newspapers’ editorial independence, is now part of News UK. Both papers introduced digital subscriptions in 2010 to help ensure a sustainable future for their journalism.

The titles are currently the biggest selling quality print newspapers in the UK and in 2018 The Times was named Britain’s most trusted national newspaper by the Reuters Institute for Journalism at Oxford University.

In 2019 The Times and The Sunday Times won the Daily and Sunday newspaper of the year categories at the British Press Awards among several other prizes for their writing, reporting, investigations and campaigns. Both papers are committed to driving digital innovation in all areas of their world-class journalism.

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