Tabloid Journalism
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Tabloid Journalism

Tabloid journalism is a style of journalism that emphasizes sensational crime stories, gossip columns about celebrities and sports stars, extreme political views and opinions from one perspective, junk food news, and sun sign astrology. Although it is associated with tabloid-size newspapers, not all newspapers associated with tabloid journalism are tabloid size, and not all tabloid-size newspapers engage in tabloid journalism; in particular, since about 2000 many broadsheet newspapers converted to the more compact tabloid format. Tabloid journalism often concerns itself with rumors about the private lives of celebrities. In some cases, celebrities have successfully sued for libel, demonstrating that tabloid stories have defamed them.

Publications engaging in tabloid journalism are known as rag newspapers. Notable tabloid publications include the National Enquirer, and Globe in North America; and the Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Record, Sunday Mail, The Sun, and the former News of the World in the United Kingdom.

Supermarket tabloids

In the United States and Canada, "supermarket tabloids" are large, national versions of these tabloids, usually published weekly. They are named for their prominent placement along the checkout lines of supermarkets.

In the 1960s, the National Enquirer began selling magazines in supermarkets as an alternative to newsstands. To sweeten the deal with supermarkets, they offered to buy back unsold issues.[1]

Supermarket tabloids are particularly notorious for the over-the-top sensationalizing of stories, the facts of which can often be called into question.[2] These tabloids--such as The Globe and the National Enquirer--often use aggressive and usually mean-spirited tactics to sell their issues. Unlike regular tabloid-format newspapers, supermarket tabloids are distributed through the magazine distribution channel, similarly to other weekly magazines and mass-market paperback books. Leading examples include the National Enquirer, Star, Weekly World News (itself a parody of the style), and the Sun. Most major supermarket tabloids in the U.S. are published by American Media, Inc., including the National Enquirer, Star, The Globe, and National Examiner.

A major event in the history of U.S. supermarket tabloids was the successful libel lawsuit by Carol Burnett against the National Enquirer (Carol Burnett v. National Enquirer, Inc.), arising out of a false 1976 report in the National Enquirer, implying she was drunk and boisterous in a public encounter with U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Though its impact is widely debated, it is generally seen as a significant turning point in the relations between celebrities and tabloid journalism, increasing the willingness of celebrities to sue for libel in the U.S., and somewhat dampening the recklessness of U.S. tabloids.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Other celebrities have attempted to sue tabloid magazines for libel and slander including Richard Simmons in 2017[10] and Phil McGraw in 2016.[9] Both McGraw and Simmons sued the National Enquirer, but only McGraw was successful, winning $250 million.[9]

Tabloids may pay for stories. Besides scoops meant to be headline stories, this can be used to censor stories damaging to the paper's allies. Known as "catch and kill", tabloid newspapers may pay someone for the exclusive rights to a story, then choose not to run it.[11] Publisher American Media has been accused of burying stories embarrassing to Arnold Schwarzenegger,[12]Donald Trump,[13] and Harvey Weinstein.[14]

Red tops

Tabloid newspapers in the United Kingdom, collectively called "the tabloid press", tend to be simply and sensationally written and to give more prominence than broadsheets to celebrities, sports, crime stories, and even hoaxes. They also take political positions on news stories: ridiculing politicians, demanding resignations, and predicting election results.[15]

The term "red tops" refers to British tabloids with red mastheads (the American English term is nameplate), such as The Sun, the Daily Star, the Daily Mirror, and the Daily Record.[16]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Dr. Phil and wife Robin sue the National Enquirer for $250 million, citing defamation". The Washington Post. July 14, 2016. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ "supermarket tabloid". Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ Scott, Vernon, "Carol Burnett launches trial balloon", March 22, 1981, United Press International (UPI), retrieved January 1, 2017.
  4. ^ Lindsey, Robert, "Carol Burnett given 1.6 million in suit against National Enquirer", March 27, 1981, The New York Times, retrieved January 1, 2017.
  5. ^ "How the Supermarket Tabloids Stay Out of Court", January 4, 1991, The New York Times, retrieved January 1, 2017.
  6. ^ Langberg, Barry (libel attorney for Carol Burnett and others), opinion essay: "Tabloids' Lies Abuse the First Amendment", August 12, 1991, "], Los Angeles Times, retrieved January 1, 2017.
  7. ^ Beam, Alex, "Tabloid Law", Part 1 of two parts, August 1999, The Atlantic Monthly, retrieved January 1, 2017.
  8. ^ Beam, Alex, "Tabloid Law", Part 2 of two parts, August 1999, The Atlantic Monthly, retrieved January 1, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Andrews, Travis M., "Dr_ Phil and wife Robin sue the National Enquirer for $250 million, citing defamation", July 14, 2016, The Washington Post, retrieved January 1, 2017.
  10. ^ "Richard Simmons v the National Enquirer". Scribd. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ Sullivan, Margaret (November 5, 2016). "'Catch and kill' at National Enquirer gives media one last black eye before election". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ Nicholas, Peter; Hall, Carla (August 12, 2005). "Tabloid's Deal With Woman Shielded Schwarzenegger". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ Palazzolo, Joe; Rothfield, Michael; Alpert, Lukas (November 4, 2016). "National Enquirer Shielded Donald Trump From Playboy Model's Affair Allegation". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ Twohey, Megan; Kantor, Jodi; Dominus, Susan; Rutenberg, Jim; Eder, Steve (December 6, 2017). "Weinstein's Complicity Machine". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ "Tabloids". AskDefine. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ Stephen Brook (December 6, 2007). "Red-tops on the rise, survey shows". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2012.

Bibliography

  • Martin Conboy (2006). Tabloid Britain: Constructing a Community Through Language. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-35553-7.
  • Kevin Glynn (2000). Tabloid Culture: Trash Taste, Popular Power, and the Transformation of American Television. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2550-0.
  • Paula E. Morton (2009). Tabloid Valley: Supermarket News and American Culture. University Press of Florida. ISBN 978-0-8130-3364-8.
  • Colin Sparks; John Tulloch (2000). Tabloid Tales: Global Debates over Media Standards. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-8476-9572-0.
  • Herman Wasserman (2010). Tabloid Journalism in South Africa: True Story!. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-22211-4.
  • Barbie Zelizer, ed. (2009). The Changing Faces of Journalism: Tabloidization, Technology and Truthiness. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-77824-4.

External links


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