|Owner(s)||North West of Ireland Printing and Publishing Company|
|Headquarters||Letterkenny, County Donegal|
|Circulation||Monday: 4,221* |
ABC July to December 2012.
The Donegal News (also known as Derry People/Donegal News and formerly Derry People) is a twice-weekly local newspaper in the northwest of the island of Ireland, first published in 1902. Originally covering Derry, Northern Ireland, it moved across the border to Letterkenny, County Donegal, at the beginning of the Second World War and took on more of a Donegal focus. It is owned by the North West of Ireland Printing and Publishing Company, which was established in 1901 by the Lynch family, who also own several other papers in the region including the Ulster Herald, Fermanagh Herald, Strabane Chronicle, Tyrone Herald, and Gaelic Life.
Its main competitors are the Donegal Democrat and Derry Journal. The paper, despite a "rebranding" several years ago, continues to be known, for short, locally across the northern half of County Donegal as the Derry People. Its two editions had a circulation of 15,467 for the first half of 2010, with the Friday edition accounting for most of the figure.
The paper was first published in Derry in 1903, but at the start of the Second World War, the paper's owners decided to move production across the border to Letterkenny, County Donegal, in an aim to avoid possible harsh censorship laws, which saw the paper's rival, the Derry Journal, being banned for a short time on both sides of the border. The paper has always had a nationalist editorial policy and so was able to attract readers from both County Donegal and the mostly nationalist city of Derry. The paper became the first to be based in Letterkenny and after the war had ended, it decided to keep production in the Republic and gradually began to focus more on northern Donegal rather than its original Derry base. Derry has always been an important centre of employment for the north of Donegal with many Donegal families also moving across the border, which led to papers such as the Derry Journal and the Derry People, building up a loyal readership in both jurisdictions. Throughout its history, the paper has remained under the control of the Lynch family, whose North West of Ireland Printing and Publishing Company is the largest newspaper group in Ireland still family controlled.
As of 2020, it had not missed publication since its foundation in 1903.
The Monday edition was launched in November 2006 and is first paper in the County with all the weekend news and sport.
In 2002 the paper was renamed as the Donegal News, with the Derry People title kept in the masthead, and was part of a wider re-launch of the paper that saw an overhaul of its layout. However, despite the 'rebranding', the paper continues to be known locally, for short, as The Derry People.
On 18 October 2008 the Friday edition of the paper went tabloid. The change followed extensive surveys which returned a massive thumbs-up for a smaller paper. New farming, business and fashion columns were introduced. Also included are pull-outs devoted to local notes and entertainment. In keeping with the paper's proud and close association with Letterkenny, The Letterkenny Notes remained on page two of the newspaper. The sports section is now located at the back of the paper.
As part of the paper's re-start in 2002, a new layout was introduced which increased the number of pages of the publication, as well as the number of these in colour. The Donegal News mainly reports on local events and local sport, as well as devoting space to "local notes", where unpaid correspondents submit reports on births, deaths and marriages in their particular town.
In the Friday edition, a number of regular features are also carried, such as "Friday Talk" and "The Last Corncrake", as well as a column in the Irish language, "Scéal Eile". The Friday edition also carries a weekly lifestyle supplement called "DN", with regular columns relating to television, cinema, travel, health and local entertainment.
The Monday edition of the newspaper features a comic strip, Donegal Danny, by Johnny Schumann and Sean Feeny while "People Like You" features an interview with a local celebrity.
Both editions of the paper are made available on-line as paid-for 'e-books', while the "DN" supplement is made available free of charge.
According to ABC, the average circulation of Donegal News Monday was 4,221 for the period July 2012 to December 2012, this represented an increase of 4% on a year-on-year basis. The average circulation of Donegal News Friday was 10.861 for the period July 2012 to December 2012, this represented a decrease of 3% on a year-on-year basis.
- Essay on the banning of the Derry Journal by Freya McClements Archived 6 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Gill, Columba (2 April 2020). "Letter from the Editor: 'There is hope and inspiration and that is what we want to focus on most'". p. 2.
Since it was first published in 1903, the Derry People and Donegal News has never missed an edition. We may have been disrupted by two world wars and faced many other challenges but we always got our newspaper out.Quote from editorial printed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Donegal News revamp Archived 26 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine