Newspaper preferences for particular formats of speech presentation differ and they change in the course of time. In this contribution we focus on The Times and trace such developments in the formative years of the modern Anglo-American newspapers, from 1833 to 1988. We extracted data from The Times Digital Archive in six samples of roughly 5000 words at intervals of 31 years and analysed the texts manually for instances of reported speech. Our analysis shows that the focus has shifted from the presentation of speech events as coherent wholes in earlier newspapers towards a more selective use of individual statements that summarise an event or characterise it from different angles. And it also shows that the frequency of indirect forms of discourse presentation decreases over the years in favour of direct forms. This gives further support to the claim that in terms of discourse presentation broadsheets slowly develop into the direction spearheaded by tabloids.