Tabloid Journalism

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“Bill Clinton: I Screwed Up With Monica” is what is the headline on the National Enquirer website yesterday morning, should we care? If so, why do we care? Celebrity tabloids have become a norm to us in society whether we like it or not. While standing in line at the grocery store, waiting for it to be your turn to checkout, we can’t help but notice the headlines on the magazines next to us reading absurd things such as “Michael Jackson found alive in Disneyland” or “Male able to give birth” and although we know how crazy these things look, we still find ourselves flipping through the pages and let our curiosity get the best of us. Tabloids are found in just about every vehicle of media, television, print, radio, and of course, the internet. According to dictionary.com, a tabloid is a media that contains news in a condensed form and much photographic material, and that features stories of violence, crime, or scandal presented in a breathtaking style. It’s come to a point in our culture where a person is completely unable to avoid the gossip that is constantly around us. Tabloids have become a major part of American culture, and effects the way a particular audience views the difference of the life of celebrities and their own.

American society is unbelievably fascinated with celebrities and what they do in their lives, that is why the tabloid industry is so successful. Sensationalism, the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke public interest or excitement, is very much a part of the way in which tabloid journalists cover news stories that relate to extraordinary crimes, political scandals, and celebrity gossip. In society today, it seems as though there is less emphasis on finding out the real story and getting facts for the story and more on being the first journalist to uncover the salacious details on a high profile affair. Throughout the years it has become evident that celebrity culture has grown to dominate the social scene and there is no doubt that the tabloids have helped the celebrity fascinations become what they have. This obsession with celebrities, scandal and gossip that are in the tabloids may seem unhealthy because they have gone to extreme levels of them being everywhere we look, but they are nothing new. Tabloid Journalism has been around for several decades. People always had been fascinated by death, adversity and tragedy; tabloid journalism has never stopped progressing. Scandal attracts an audience and because media profits are based on large audiences, it has become a foundation of the commercial media, “big thrills, big profits.” This keeps everyone happy and readers are getting their daily entertainment, and the media is getting their money. Somewhere on the way, the original idea of a cheap, entertaining newspaper changed into a race between tabloids, meaning that whoever gives the best news. Throughout history there has always been a strong fascination with the lives of the rich and famous as well as the criminal world that is much below those that are rich and famous. Evidence has shown that in the late Victorian period, it was Jack The Ripper that captured the publics attention, with a little help from a number of hoax letters which are said to have been written by tabloid journalists to get people to put their magazine, and or newspaper before they purchased someone else’s.

Tabloids journalism first started with Yellow Journalism, which is defined as a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism (SOURCE). By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion. The first successful tabloid was Harmsworth’s Daily Mirror in 1903. Originally launched...
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