The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, i and Metro all brought out late editions bringing the news of today’s EU referendum win for Leave.
The Sun’s final edition went to press at 6am while the other titles went off stone at 5am. The late updates ensured that the latest news appeared in a small proportion of the titles’ print runs.
The Daily Mail and Daily Mirror both produced a final 5am edition with the headline “We’re Out”.
The Johnston Press-owned i declared “global shock as Britain quits EU” in a special referendum edition that came off stone at 5am.
Similarly, the Metro revealed the country was “Heading Towards a Brexit” in a final edition, published at 5am, following all night coverage of the result. It produced its first edition of the evening at 10pm, a second at 11.30pm and a third at 3am before the final edition two hours later.
The last two editions were delivered only within central London (Zone 1), with 115,000 copies printed of the 3am edition and just 49,000 copies of the final paper. The Metro delivers daily approximately 850,000 copies in total within London and some 1.35m copies across the nation.
“It was an exciting night,” Metro editor Ted Young told Press Gazette: “I think the vibe was that people couldn’t quite believe it was happening. We are a politically neutral paper but I think people thought ‘well, this is history happening’, and it really was.
“I think that’s probably the feeling this morning everywhere. It’s ‘my God, we have actually done it’. We are trying to reflect what’s happening as it’s happening, but actually that’s quite difficult. Hopefully we got a flavour oh how it was during the evening at that time with each edition.
“The fact that it might be out of date by the time people read it doesn’t matter, because it’s of a moment. It’s a snapshot of people’s lives. There’s something tangible about print – this is something you can actually hold on to and say ‘wow, I was there’.”
The Metro claims to have remained “proudly neutral” in its editorial coverage throughout the referendum. Adverts throughout the paper and two wraps – one for leave and one for remain – covered the paper on consecutive days leading up to polling day yesterday.
“We have got will over 3m readers and they are from every background,” said Young of the paper’s politically neutral stance. “We also have a lot of young readers and I particularly think young readers don’t like being bashed over the head. They like to form their own views.”
Young also said that newspapers, a number of whom backed Brexit, including The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Telgraph and Daily Express, still “have a lot of influence” over the public.
He said: “We have got a healthy press but what I would like more people to do is buy a newspaper from a different political opinion than their own.”
Scotland’s Press and Journal and Herald titles also managed to carry the late-breaking EU referendum result news.
The Times was not one of the newspapers to bring out a late edition with the referendum result. But today it decided to make its normally paid-for website free for 24 hours so readers could sample its news and analysis on latest developments.
Evening newspaper the Wolverhampton-based Express and Star went one step better than the nationals getting news out this morning on its front page that David Cameron was stepping down as Prime Minister.