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The British press

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  • Essay length: 2814 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
University Degree Paper-based media studies

An extract from this essay...

The British press

It is no secret that the 'tabloid' or 'popular' press has been subject to criticism for many years, and the reasons for it are made far move obvious when it is compared to the broadsheet press. It is, however, only quite recently that the division has become so very clear as it is today - and there are few people in the UK who are unaware of the broadsheet / tabloid division.

But, what one may ask, are the differences between the two, and indeed, why do they exist? The easier answer to the latter is that the divisions in the two types of press reflects a division in society of certain groups of people clamouring after different news and alternative ways of presenting this news. It is in almost every aspect of the papers that the incongruities are evident - the topics covered, the language used, the graphics, photography and layout and the framings of different stories. This essay will attempt to outline the pretexts for the type of coverage which has now become typical of the tabloid newspapers and examples of this coverage. In doing so, a consideration of why it is so subject to debate and criticism should emerge.

In my own opinion, I think that we cannot claim to know or understand the reasons for the contrast, and it will ever remain ambiguous as to why the divisions have become clear - although many scholars have put forward arguments. However, it seems more simple to suggest reasons for the axiomatic criticisms which today surround journalists and moguls who have helped to create the culture of 'infotainment', 'chequebook journalism' and sensationalism. Perhaps the animadversions have grown from the popular press' lack of seriousness, the deficiency of neutral, thorough and pointful coverage of what are deemed 'important' issues. Often, tabloid press coverage can, by its omission of facts and sensationalistic reporting, be misleading to the reader - a factor which seems to warrant criticism.

This was evident in the Sun's coverage of the 20 April 1999 events in Serbia when a civilian convoy was gunned down by Nato troops - this is a fact and was admitted by Nato before the publication of the article:

SERB MONSTERS SHOT REFUGEES THEN BLAMED US

"A Nato commander insisted yesterday that Serbs slaughtered Kosovan refugees in a convoy massacre blamed on

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