Monday, 19 November 2007

Critical Analysis - Tabloidisation

The tabloid press can be dated back to the decline and of the Bourgeois Public Sphere.

The break down of space between the state and civil society, in conjunction with rising economic imperatives lead to the rise of mass communications.

In modern day Britain the national press is divided into two forms: the broadsheet and the tabloid. Stereotypically the difference between each form is defined by the newspapers quality and whether it is seen as being ‘mid-market’ or ‘down-market’.

It could be argued that relationship between the tabloids and the broadsheets is linked by ‘good and bad journalism’.

Broadsheets are seen to obtain a set of ‘good’ values. These values include the newspaper being: informative, objective, accurate and running stories that are ‘newsworthy’.

Tabloids, on the other hand are seen as portraying sensationalist views whilst being ‘dumbed down’ in terms of the language it uses.

Other ‘bad’ characteristics of the tabloid are that the majority of its ‘news’ is ‘pseudo news’ (celebrity news) which relies on rumours, which can often cause stories to have some inaccuracies.

However according to figures published by the ABC (the independent audit watchdog service for printed publications) tabloid papers are outselling broadsheets.

‘The Sun’ for instance has a circulation of 2.9 million and ‘The Mirror’ also has a large circulation of 1.8 million.

It could be argued that the so-called ‘bad’ tabloid values are dominating Britain’s culture, posing the argument that Britain is producing less educated people, as less than a ¼ of the population either look at or buy broadsheets on a regular basis.

A large part of the tabloids success is down to its: ‘Tabloid Tales’,

Tabloid Tales’, are comprised of: sensationalism, emotionalism, human interest, personification and a pictorial focus.

Sensationalism provides the tabloids to use verbal or graphic media to create striking or shocking impressions that are intended to excite interest or create attention e.g. the headline: ‘Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster’.

Similarly emotionalism has the tendency to display emotions freely or place too much value on emotion. A modern day example of this could be the on running Madeline McCann story which would provoke an emotional response from its reader.

In relation to the current UK press circulation figures, I think that the tabloids outselling broadsheets will continue, unless broadsheets take on more tabloid values.

Word Count: 384

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