Belfast Telegraph

The Belfast Telegraph is a daily newspaper published in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Independent News & Media. Reflecting its unionist tradition, the paper has historically been "favoured by the Protestant population", while also being read within Catholic nationalist communities in Northern Ireland.[1][2][3]

Belfast Telegraph
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Independent News & Media
Founder(s)William & George Baird
EditorGail Walker
Political alignmentCentrism
HeadquartersBelfast Telegraph House
33 Clarendon Road
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Sister newspapersSunday Life


It was first published as the Belfast Evening Telegraph on 1 September 1870 by brothers William and George Baird. Its first edition cost half a penny and ran to four pages covering the Franco-Prussian War and local news.

The evening edition of the newspaper was originally called the "Sixth Late", and "Sixth Late Tele" was a familiar cry made by vendors in Belfast City Centre in the past.

Its competitors are The News Letter and The Irish News but local editions of London-based red tops also compete in this market, selling at a cheaper price than the 'Tele'.

The Belfast Telegraph was entirely broadsheet until 19 February 2005, when the Saturday morning edition was introduced and all Saturday editions were converted to compact.[4] The weekday morning Compact Edition was launched on 22 March 2005.[5]

In 2015, the Telegraph launched the magazine supplement Family Life.[6]

The paper now publishes two editions daily, Belfast Telegraph final edition and the North West Telegraph which is distributed in Derry.

Circulation has declined in recent years, from 109,571 for the period July to December 2002,[7] to 36,403 for the same period in 2017,[8] and 33,951 by the end of 2018.[9]. This had declined to 32,538 by the first half of 2019. [10]


The Belfast Telegraph was named as Best UK Regional Newspaper of the Year 2012 by the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards.[11]


  1. "The Belfast Telegraph". Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  2. "Steve Dyson reviews the Belfast Telegraph, Irish News and News Letter". Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  3. "The Social Geography of Violence During the Belfast Troubles, 1920-22" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  4. "Belfast Telegraph expands Saturday coverage". Belfast Telegraph. 9 February 2005. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  5. "Ulster wakes up to new early Telegraph". Belfast Telegraph. 21 March 2005. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  6. "New Family Life Magazine Launches!". April 17, 2015.
  11. Canning, Margaret (28 May 2012). "Belfast Telegraph is named best regional daily in the UK at prestigious awards ceremony". Belfast Telegraph. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
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