The Royal Standard
Front page of The Royal Standard from 2 September 1844
|Owner||Midrasian Royal Society|
|Founded||1 January 1843|
|Headquarters||Neujardin, Lotrič, Midrasia|
The Royal Standard (Midrasian l'Étendard Royal pronounced /letɑ̃nˈdaʁ ʁwaˈjal/) is a Midrasian daily newspaper based in Lotrič, Midrasia. It was founded in 1843 by Prince Luix of Midrasia and to this day remains under the ownership of the Midrasian royal family, although authority over the newspaper was transferred to the royal society upon Prince Luix's death in 1886. The Royal Standard was the sixth Midrasian newspaper to be created and the first to officially adopt a politically neutral stance by Royal charter in 1857. Although the newspapers status as a politically neutral entity has been called into question several times throughout the history of its circulation, many regard its neutrality as key to the newspapers continual success throughout the years. The newspaper has won more editorial awards than any other Midrasian news source and continues to be widely circulated throughout Aeia.
The Royal Standard was founded in 1843 by Prince Luix of Midrasia who was a keen patron of the arts with a renowned interest in journalism. During his spare time it was well known that Luix operated under a pen-name to publish for smaller Midrasian media outlets. The Prince had decided to set up a new media outlet in 1843 due to what he deemed to be falling standards in the wider Midrasian media, with the rise of yellow journalism and other sensationalist news outlets. In a statement at the founding of the newspaper at its Printing offices in Neujardin, the Prince stated that his new outlet would be dedicated to "Only the highest quality of journalism, the Standard associates itself with the facts and nothing more." Whilst readership was initially adequate, the publication continued to lag behind the likes of the Times. As such, in 1857 the newspaper adopted a Royal Charter which dedicated itself to neutrality in reporting.
By the onset of the twentieth century, the newspaper was the most widely distributed in Midrasia and its colonies. Over time the newspaper also gathered a considerable overseas following, for the newspaper's reliability for Asuran affairs such as during the Great War or Asuran Red Scare. Despite this, the newspaper began to lose out at home with the rise of cheaper, more sensationalist tabloid newspapers. Today the newspaper continues to perform well, however lags behind the likes of Soleil in terms of readership. Readership records indicate that a significant number of physical purchases of the newspaper are still made compared with other news outlets, however online readership remains considerable.
The Royal Standard is a multi-award winning publication, earning a number of accolades for journalistic excellence and high quality research. The newspaper is notable for breaking notable stories such as the outbreak of the Bloody Month, the assassination of Erwann Berthou, the Alzur attacks and 2015 Parliamentary Expenses Scandal.
Whilst for the most part the newspaper has been able to maintain a solid record both in terms of the quality of its publications and the general satisfaction in regards to the newspaper upholding its neutrality through Royal Charter. Despite this, the newspaper has not been free from criticism and controversy. The newspaper has, on a number of occasions been accused of bias from both sides of the political spectrum. The publication has also come under fire for having what has been deemed a broadchurch bias, with the Standard not giving a fair hearing to minority party opinions. Much of this criticism has been aimed at the newspaper's coverage of the right-wing Midrasia First. The newspaper regularly publishes an annual list of complaints, which the newspaper claims shows a generally similar number of complaints from both sides of the political spectrum, indicating a general level of neutrality.
By far the most complaints lodged against the Standard however deal with the issue of a perceived pro-monarchy bias. The status of the newspaper, being owned by the Midrasian Royal Society, along with receiving royal patronage has seen its claim to neutrality called into question. Furthermore, in the past the Standard has been reluctant to cover stories which could be deemed damaging to the status of the Royal Family. In 2000 when Midrasian newspapers gained footage of Prince Napoleone drunk at a Glanish nightclub, the story was not covered within the Standard, whilst a number of publications displayed the event as front page news. Moreover, when a number of publications, most notably the Vanguard, released stories relating to the Royal Families ties to Sacemite Oil Sheikhs, the Standards coverage of such issues was widely criticised as lacklustre.