There is one thing that a journalist can count on, said a character in Evelyn Waugh’s 1938 novel Scoop: “popularity”. The public always has “a smile and the best of everything for the gentlemen of the press”.

How times changed, particularly for the Daily Mail. At the turn of the century, the tabloid became the most influential newspaper in Britain, but also the most divisive — thanks to angry headlines such as “Crush the Saboteurs”, “Over 1m Illegals are in Britain” and “Is this a case of bias against men?”

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