There are two problems with the existing account of the relationship between newspapers and national identity in the UK. The first is that although it is widely assumed that the mass media are central to the reproduction and evolution of national identity this has never been empirically demonstrated. The second is that exactly what comprises the relevant 'national' context in the UK is unclear. Content analysis of 2,500 sampled articles, together with qualitative comparison of different editions of the same newspaper titles and interviews with editors and journalists are used to show the extent and nature of 'national' frames of reference in newspapers in England and Scotland. Paradoxically, devolution may have reduced the spatial diversity of news stories in the press in England and Scotland.