The Telegraph is widely regarded as a national "newspaper of record" and it maintains an international reputation for quality, having been described by the BBC as being "one of the world's great titles". The paper's motto, "Was, is, and will be", appears in the editorial pages and has featured in every edition of the newspaper since 19 April 1858.
The paper had a circulation of 458,487 in November 2017, having declined following industry trends from 1.4 million in 1980. Its sister paper, The Sunday Telegraph, which started in 1961, had a circulation of 339,959 as of November 2017. The Daily Telegraph has the largest circulation for a broadsheet newspaper in the UK and the sixth largest circulation of any UK newspaper as of 2016. The two sister newspapers are run separately, with different editorial staff, but there is cross-usage of stories. Articles published in either may be published on the Telegraph Media Group's www.telegraph.co.uk website, under the title of The Telegraph.
The Telegraph has been the first newspaper to report on a number of notable news scoops, including the 2009 MP expenses scandal, which led to a number of high-profile political resignations and for which it was named 2009 British Newspaper of the Year, and its 2016 undercover investigation on the England football manager Sam Allardyce. However, critics, including the paper's former chief political commentator Peter Oborne, accuse it of being unduly influenced by advertisers, especially HSBC.
The Daily Telegraph and Courier was founded by Colonel Arthur B. Sleigh in June 1855 to air a personal grievance against the future commander-in-chief of the British Army, Prince George, Duke of Cambridge. Joseph Moses Levy, the owner of The Sunday Times, agreed to print the newspaper, and the first edition was published on 29 June 1855. The paper cost 2d and was four pages long. Nevertheless, the first edition stressed the quality and independence of its articles and journalists:
We shall be guided by a high tone of independent action.