Morgunblaðið's front page, 8 December 2005
|Editor||Davíð Oddsson and Haraldur Johannessen|
|Circulation||50,000 to 55,000|
Morgunblaðið (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈmɔrkʏnˌplaðɪð], The Morning Paper) is a newspaper published in Iceland, founded by Vilhjálmur Finsen & Olaf Björnsson, brother to the first president. The first issue, only eight pages long, was published on 2 November 1913. Six years later, in 1919, the corporation Árvakur bought out the company. The paper had close relations to the conservative Independence Party, especially during the Cold War, and its editors or their parliament reporters routinely sat in on meetings of the parliamentarian group of the party until 1983 when Chairman of the Board of Árvakur - and also the Chairman of the Independence Party -, Geir Hallgrímsson, reached the conclusion these relations would neither be in the best interests of the party nor of the paper. Although the connection to the Independence Party is not as direct as in previous decades, the paper is sometimes criticized for leaning too much towards the party, especially in election seasons. Although the paper shares the mainstream conservative values of the Independence Party it has also shown its independence on some key issues, especially in the debate on fishing rights distribution. Lately the paper has made a point of recruiting left-leaning journalists and has echoed feminist policies on the op-ed pages. Morgunblaðið is opposed to Icelandic membership of the European Union.
Since its initial publication, Morgunblaðið was not published on Mondays, but soon established itself as the paper of record. While always being the number one newspaper in Iceland it took an absolute lead in the early 1970s and routed most of the competition, enjoying an unchallenged superiority for the next three decades. During this golden age, Morgunblaðið launched a number of special sections on finance, fisheries, food etc. After the freely distributed (by home delivery) Fréttablaðið took the competition to a new level by starting a Monday edition, Morgunblaðið responded to the challenge and has since 2003 been published every day of the week, with varying amount of content reaching from 60 to 120 pages. Advertising accounts for 30% to 40% of the column space. Daily circulation hovers between 50,000 and 55,000, the bulk being paid subscriptions. Circulation is mostly focused on the southwestern part of the country, especially in the capital Reykjavík.
In a controversial decision, the owners of the paper decided in September 2009 to appoint Davíð Oddsson, a member of the Independence Party, Iceland's longest-serving Prime Minister and former head of the Central Bank, as one of the two editors of the paper.
mbl.is - the Morning Paper's website is the highest ranking Icelandic website with about 80% domestic visits.