400,000 copies of the Sunday World newspaper are sold on the island of Ireland every week. What makes this tabloid paper so successful?

Sunday World began publishing in 1973 and quickly became one of Ireland's best selling newspapers. Dave Fanning talks to the editor about the success of the Sunday tabloid.

It sells over four hundred thousand copies every week in Ireland.

Sunday World Editor Colin McClelland claims the success of the newspaper is down to the fact that it offers readers something different, from the colourful print to the eye-catching headlines and stories that people want to read.

There was a need in Ireland for a newspaper that would give a different front page headline on Sunday morning, would give colour in the newspaper and would deal with the news in a different fashion than the existing newspapers.

The use of colour was one of the key factors in attracting readers, with McClelland describing the Sunday World as one of the leading newspapers in Europe in the use of colour. He also makes an analogy between the evolution of the tabloid newspaper and the evolution of television, in that reading habits are influenced by what appears on television. 

Most of the people who read Sunday World at the moment were born with the box in the corner of the room.

Extensive market research has also been a factor in the success of the paper. 

You publish a story because you think that there is some interest amongst your readership in that story and that they will identify with that story.

According to McClelland many of the stories published in the Sunday World come directly from the readers adding an element of human interest. 

We always print what we believe to be true but we also have lawyers checking our stories and advising us what the outcome of the story might be.

Ultimately, it is up to McClelland as editor, to choose which stories get printed and under what eye-catching headline. 

You must have something on page one which is going to arrest the eye.

This episode of 'Visual Eyes' was broadcast on 21 August 1987. The reporter is Dave Fanning.