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What is Tabloid Wire

TabloidWire.com is an aggregator bringing the best of entertainment from across the web. We do not publish content directly ourselves but link to various websites for free which do the hard work of entertaining millions of people worldwide. Tabloidwire.com is a one stop portal to get all your entertainment needs without having to visit 100 different tabloid sites.

What are Tabloids?

The tree of Journalism is rooted in conveying information. This tree branches into two main formats for newspapers -broadsheet and tabloid. The technical differentiating factor between the traditional broadsheet and its comparatively newer version is the paper size. Tabloid paper size typically measures 11 by 17 inches—smaller than a broadsheet—and is usually no more than five columns across. Due to this small size tabloids are often associated with shorter, crisper stories which engage and hold reader attention. These short tabloid stories in the modern day have now moved to an online platform.

Due to the immense creation of information daily, Tabloidwire.com is aggregating all this kind of content into one place. This ensures to curate all the latest and expansive buzz at one place.

In the initial days, many city dwellers prefered tabloids because they were easier to carry and read on the subway or bus. Although the technical differentiation makes any shorter version of a broadsheet paper into a tabloid, the style of writing and choice of coverage is the winning differentiation among the two.

Throughout history, the term tabloid has become more associated with its content than with its size. Tabloids have a reputation to cover sensational stories and utilize a more aggressive and accusatory vocabulary to convey information. Therefore, well-reputed papers prefer to call their tabloid versions of newspapers “compact newspapers.” These two formats have distinct histories and associations.

Brief History of Tabloids

The origins of the term tabloid are controversial and still in debate. The etymology for the word Tabloid has an interesting journey. Tablets are a compressed and concentrated pill for medical consumption and were introduced in 1884. Within a couple of years, the connotation of being compressed was transferred to other entities and activities. Tabloid -tablet and alkaloid, was a combination of these two words and it referred to a new kind of reporting that condensed stories into a concentrated style for reader consumption.  

When these tabloids were initially published they had information that appealed mostly to businessmen and politicians. However, around the 1830s, tabloid newspapers shifted focus towards from business and politics to stories with human-­interest and stories having more emotional human elements. Bordering on exaggeration and eye-catching headlines, these new and experimental tabloids began to gain traction. This gave rise to the age of “Yellow Journalism.” This age of “Yellow Journalism” is defined as a method of newspaper reporting that emphasizes sensationalism over facts. Suddenly facts and the truth had become less important than the outrageous headlines that were grabbing people’s attention.

Tabloids date to the early 1900s when they were referred to as "small newspapers" or “half broadsheet”. A 1902 item in London’s Westminster Gazette noted, "The proprietor intends to offer in tabloid form all the news printed by other journals." Thus "tabloid journalism" in 1901 originally meant a paper that condensed stories into a simplified, easily absorbed format. The term preceded the 1918 regard to smaller sheet newspapers that contained the condensed stories.

What is Tabloid Journalism?

Shorter articles tend to be read more thoroughly than longer ones. It’s observed and acknowledged reader behaviour within the print news industry that approximately half the readers who read the first paragraph in a news story stop right there and move on to something else. Half of those who remain interested after the first paragraph is gone by the midpoint of the story. Fewer than 10 per cent reach the end of news stories.

Although the modern-era tabloids date back to the early 1900s, many people might be surprised to find that the sensationalism-driven news model was found as far back as the late 19th century with yellow journalism.

Frank Luther Mott, in his 1941 book American Journalism, says that yellow journalism (now known as modern Tabloid Journalism) has the following characteristics:

  1. Large-print headlines that are often intended to scare readers.
  2. Heightened use of illustrations to accompany stories.
  3. Misinformation, usually by using misleading headlines, false ‘experts’ claiming misinformation is correct, and interviews that never happened.
  4. Interest in the ‘little guy’s fight with the establishment’

Along with these common attributes include:

  1. Front cover and individual article headlines that are outrageous and dramatic
  2. Large, bold, and colourful font
  3. Constant speculation instead of facts that have been checked for credibility
  4. Pictures edited to make the subject look different, whether it’s flattering or unflattering
  5. Unreliable sources
  6. Dramatic, descriptive use of language

 How has Tabloid Journalism changed over the decades?

Tabloid journalism has changed over the last decade to more online platforms that seek to target and engage youth consumers with celebrity news and entertainment. Tabloids tend to be simply and sensationally written which 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. A problem with tabloid journalism is that often it can be inaccurate news and the misrepresentation of individuals and situations.

Tabloid Journalism covers sensational crime stories, astrology, gossip columns about the personal lives of celebrities and sports stars, and ‘junk food’ news. Celebrity gossip columns usually appearing in top tabloids focus on their sexual practices, misuse of narcotics, and the private aspects of their lives often border on, and sometimes cross the line of defamation.

Tabloid Journalism utilizes a straightforward vocabulary and grammar; their layout usually gives greater prominence to the picture than to the word. The writing style of tabloids are often accused of sensationalism and extreme political bias; they have been accused of deliberately igniting controversy and selectively reporting on attention-grabbing stories or those with ‘shock value’. In the extreme case, some top tabloids get accused of lying or misrepresenting the truth to increase circulation.

How is Tabloid Journalism different from Common Journalism?

Dissecting the constituents of a newspaper we take a look below at how Tabloid Journalism compares to Common Journalism based on different aspects.

Kindly note that this comparison is based on the observations commonly found between these two types of Journalism and it may not hold for every comparison which falls into these categories. For example, tabloids may include serious political coverage and may exhibit the aspects of Common Journalism, while Common Journalism may contain celebrity stories or headlines with puns along with a variety of traits of Tabloid Journalism.



Tabloid Journalism

Common Journalism

  1. Target Audience

Younger audience without  inclinations towards factual data and information

Elder audience with  inclinations towards factual data and information

  1. Coverage Type

Sensational and Eye Catching

Factual and Straightforward


  1. Coverage

sensational crime stories, astrology,
gossip columns,
celebrity lives and scandals,

sports reports,
Weather reports,
political analysis,
world events,
Celebrity coverage is minimal

  1. Research



  1. Headline



  1. Intro



  1. Content

Stories tend to be shorter with less background detail and data provided.

Stories tend to be longer, with more background detail and data provided.

  1. Opinions

Conclusive – reader is presented with an opinion

Open-ended – reader is supposed to formulate their own opinion

  1. Conclusions

Quick conclusions likely with deterministic judgement

Slow conclusions likely with indeterministic judgements, or well-informed judgements

We further dissect somevocabulary choices made for the same words in Common Journalism compared to Tabloid Journalism to understand the approach of the overall writing style of articles:

Common Journalism

Tabloid Journalism





Public health official

Health watchdog     




Cop, Blue Man




Fighting for their lives



Tabloid Magazines

Tabloid magazines or Gossip magazines are magazines that feature scandalous stories about the personal lives of celebrities and other well-known individuals. This genre of magazine flourished in North America in the 1950s and early 1960s. These magazines host titles such as Whisper, Dare, Suppressed, The Lowdown, Hush-Hush, and Uncensored. A magazine titled Confidential alone boasted a monthly circulation above ten million. These magazines include lurid and explicit content and include gossip columns, tales of celebrity homosexuality and illegal drug use.

Large-circulation gossip magazines eventually gave way to supermarket tabloids.

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 supermarkets checkout lines.

In the 1960s, the National Enquirer began selling magazines in supermarkets as an alternative to newsstands, to help with their rapport with them and continue their franchise within them, they had offered to buy back unsold issues so newer more up to date ones could be displayed.

These tabloids 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.

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. This is usually done to protect the allies and is referred to as “catch and kill.”

Factors FuelingTabloid Culture

 Society has a deep-set desire to know all they can about their most loved and adored TV actor or sports star. They are even willing to pay whatever is asked just to be looped in the most latest and hot information, even at the cost of inaccuracy or plain lies. Tabloid magazines bask in society’s desire for behind the scene moments. This desire creates a demand at a scale which does not get fulfilled by accurate news and events. Therefore, tabloid journalists take it upon themselves to create a supply for this demand. In doing so, they become more and more reckless in curating edgy information which then feeds the demand and makes them more and more hungry for such edgy information, creating a vicious cycle of demand and supply for the surface.

Respectable news outlets spend countless hours hunting for the truthfulness behind every article they produce. Journalists are encouraged to abide by a strict code of ethics – “be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.” Tabloid journalists, on the other hand, shun all ethical conduct and choose to serve only the monetary gains. In a tabloid article, the reader will rarely find a quote or fact from a named, credible source. Usually while citing quotes the magazines use non-credible statements like “A source close to the star says,” or “A family friend says.”

Wrap Up

Tabloids have been around for a fairly long time and they are meant to jolt excitement and grab the attention of the public by whatever means necessary. It usually utilizes morally unethical approaches to make large sums of money. We as human beings can’t help but want to know everyone else’s business and tabloids bank on our desires.

With the rise of the digital age, we see an increase in gossip and indulgence in celebrity life like never before. However, knowing the tactics and shady utilizations of the tabloid creators it may be criticized and downsized in the coming future. In the end, the choice will always remain in the hands and eyes of the readers.

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