Monday, December 9, 2013

What is "tabloid journalism"?

Here, in the form of an article in Mint, is a fine explanation of tabloid journalism by Aakar Patel, a senior journalist whose writings I admire and who uses the Tarun Tejpal story to make his point:

At one end of the news spectrum is the report on one individual and one incident. The more famous the person is, the smaller the incident required to qualify it as news (Sachin Tendulkar retires, Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri have a surrogate baby, Tejpal accused of rape). These stories are usually of no concern to the reader and do not affect the world at large.

However, this is a legitimate space for reportage, and media that focuses purely on this sort of journalism on one person and one event is what is called “tabloid”.

There is a class bias here. Such news is aimed at and consumed by the lower classes, who are not very educated and interested in popular rather than high culture. It is the blue-collar masses who subscribe to tabloids such as The Sun in London, which are the best exponents of such journalism.

What lies at the other end of the (media) spectrum? Read on: "When every newspaper becomes a tabloid".
  • To know more about Aakar Patel, go here.