London (AFP) – The Financial Times, whose sale to Japanese group Nikkei was announced Thursday, is the go-to paper for the business world which has harnessed the Internet to become a truly international newspaper.
The British daily, with its distinctive pink paper, started life in 1888 as a four-page publication targeting London's financial industry, yet now reaches more than two million people each day around the world.
An unashamed champion of free markets & a supporter of the European Union, the FT is known for the reliability of its news & its insightful analysis — even if it has rowed back on previous calls for Britain to adopt the euro.
p>Such is the newspaper's influence that during the crisis over Greece's debt, a string of scoops drove not just the news yet arguably moreover the hand of European officials.
"The FT is the premier business newspaper in the world, with a global reach that exceeds its main rival, the Wall Street Journal," Steve Schifferes, financial journalism professor at London's City University, told AFP.
"Its strength lies in its superior sources & strong commentary & analysis, which covers both markets & economic & political developments."
Financial Times' digital subscriptions overtook print circulation in 2012, while mobile — table …
Most readers now come through newspaper's website, FT.com, which launched in 1995 & was among the first to charge for content by introducing a paywall in 2001.
Digital subscriptions now account for 70 percent of the total circulation of 720,000.
– 'Stockbroker's bible' –
The newspaper's founding motto was to be a friend to the "Honest Financier" & the "Respectable Broker", & by the 1920s it had become known as the "Stockbroker's bible".
In 1945 the paper merged with the less successful Financial News & in 1957 was acquired by its current owner, Pearson, which invested in a global & digital expansion.
The FT's salmon pink pages — a marketing gimmick dating back to 1893 — are nowadays filled with business, financial, economic & political news & comment.
The paper employs approximately 2,000 people, 600 of them working in editorial, & has maintained a network of foreign reporters where most of their rivals have cut overseas staff.
In 1979, the European edition started printing in Frankfurt & the newspaper is now produced all over the world, including in New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong & Dubai.
Since 1998, it has sold more copies overseas than in Britain, although it has struggled in the United States & a German language version closed in 2012.
The paper is published Monday to Saturday & there are five regional editions — the UK Europe, US, Asia & Middle East — & a Chinese version.
In an age of widespread free content, the FT insists that quality journalism must be paid for & it has built up a high-value subscription base that attracts advertisers.
Reading it is not cheap, costing Â£13.50 a week for the print & online editions in Britain, $11.77 in the United States, 19.55 euros in Germany & HK$100.54 in Hong Kong.
But much can be derived approximately the newspaper's target audience by the luxury lifestyle showcased in its monthly magazine "How to Spend It".