Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Development of Tabloids

The circulation of the tabloid press now dominates the world of the newspaper media. The most bought paper in the UK is The Sun, with a readership of 2.9 billion. But as tabloids are deemed poor journalism, why is this?

The development of the tabloid came about with changes in industrialisation, economics and urbanisation. It also seemed to gain a readership of dominantly females, which was a new turn in the reception of the news. This may have been due to the different approaches to news: no longer heavy concentration on international politics etc. but more over, in contemporary tabloids, celebrities and intertextuality with other media forms the readership is involved in.

Tabloids also seem to follow a pattern in how the stories are written. Often, sensationalism is used to invoke a striking and shocking emotion into a story that usually is not very newsworthy, and included mainly for shock value. Emotionalism is used to almost tell the readership what to feel about a story, such as the headline “Pray For Maddie” used by the Sun tabloid. The use of human interest appeals to readers to capture an insight into activities of a few named people, such as survivors of catastrophic events. Pictorial focus is also used in tabloids, but is finding its way into broadsheets also, for example the centre spread in the Guardian is now always a photograph.

All of the above appeal to a post modern audience, as each invokes private meanings to the readership, but on a mass scale.

These focuses, coupled with the tabloidesque style of writing brings a clear difference between the reading ages of broadsheets and tabloids: the average reading age of the Guardian is 13, whereas the Sun is a mere 6. This obviously makes the paper much less taxing to read: perhaps another factor that appeals to middle class society.

No comments: