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Tabloids

Information Collected by Grade 9 Students

Mrs. AbiSamra’s English Class

March 2004

Unedited work

 

By Lana Seguias, Salam Baalbaki, Taymour Grahne, Karim Jamaleddine, Samer Bazzy,
Daria Samad, & Ramzi Bashour

 

(The text font color corresponds to the color of the student’s name. For example, whatever is written in black was submitted by Lana Seguias.)

 

What are the Characteristics of a Tabloid?

 

A tabloid is a newspaper, in small format, which gives the news in condensed form with the use of illustrations and sensational exaggerated material.

 

v      News featuring sex escapades, murder and gore, sports, and scandals of all sorts.

v      Scandals are focused on rich and famous people’s lives.

v      Key source of gossip.

v      Colorful adjectives.

v      Lack of fact-checking.

v      Interesting, shocking and appealing Headlines.

v      Sentences of 16-30 short words.

v      Columns are narrow and easy to read.

v      Phrases do not repeat themselves.

v      Stories are personal.

v      Falsification of entire incidents.

v      Answers the six basic questions: Who? What? When? Where? How? Why?

v      Basic point is to attract reader’s attention.

v      Based on rumors.

v      Funny information.

v      Eye-opening stories that are long on scandal and mayhem (willful damage or violence) but short on analysis or depth.

 

 

v      Used to be called “scandal sheets.”

v      A lot of stories about scandals and sex.

v      Personal problems of Presidents and celebrities made public in tabloids.

v      Focuses on famous people’s personal lives.

v      Stories about murders.

v      Many pictures.

v      Contains stories not usually found in newspapers or magazines.

v      Does not present a lot of facts

v      There are a lot of fake stories/things that never happened.

v      Damages peoples’ reputations by lies.

v      Tabloids tend to over-exaggerate stories.

v      Critical

v      Bias   

v      Many sections are found in tabloids:

    1. Advice/Comment sections.
    2. Joke section.
    3. Advertising section.
    4. Clothes section.

 

q       Tabloid is “Peeping Tom” journalism.

q       A tabloid has two meanings a newspaper that specializes in sleazy, it talks about sensational stories and it is a newspaper that is printed into smaller paper that folds like a book.

q       Tabloids are fun to read because you will enjoy them and you will learn new things about what’s happening.

q       A tabloid has a small amount of writing but a huge amount of pictures. Usually there would be a huge picture on the first page of the tabloid it is like the cover.

q       Tabloids mainly talk about shocking things.

q       The Characteristics of tabloids is that they are specializing in the sensational, they use scandal sheets, they feature bold pictorial coverage of sex escapades, murder and gore, sports and about many things but mostly rich and famous people.

q       Tabloids were originally been Pint sized newspaper specialized in the sensational.

 

Ø      Tabloids are very fun things to read.

Ø      A tabloid is much different than a newspaper. The tabloids always have weird stories that are based on true stories, however most of the time, is fake, made up, and really exaggerated.

Ø      A tabloid is not printed on huge papers like the newspapers and magazines, however is quite the opposite, printed on small paper, and folded. It also has a lot of pictures.

Ø      The basic point of the tabloid is to attract the reader’s attention since everything is not true. The tabloid is also based on many rumors. Tabloids are not serious at all.

Ø      Tabloids ask the questions: Who? When? How? Why? Sentences are basically 16-30 words.

Ø      The main topic of the tabloids is sex and scandal.

Ø      Tabloids talk about all topics including sports, murder, sex, and scandals mainly relating to people who are famous and/or very rich.

Ø      Phrases do not repeat themselves, and words are small, and columns are narrow making it very easy for a person to read. 

Ø      Tabloids are also written to ruin a reputation of someone important. Sometimes, the people who write tabloids are very jealous, and they try to look for a way to ruin a person’s life, either by saying rumors about him, or by saying something that he did.

Ø      A tabloid is always brief. All the details are put in small paragraphs to make it understandable and not boring. The main topics are always put in the headlines. 

 

A tabloid is a small newspaper with stories often exaggerated, with its own language and style. Stories are regularly about crime, celebrities, sex, blood, murder, scandal and the lives of the rich and famous. Yellow journalism is a type of journalism that consists of fictional news than factual. The style is used with colorful adjectives, exaggeration and maybe falsification of incidents. Adjectives and verbs are a big part of tabloid journalism. Tabloids don’t use the usual adjectives; they must be exaggerated to grab attention.

 

 

Words Used in Tabloids

 

Colorful adjectives and words are defiantly used in tabloids. Every article uses a wide variety of different adjectives to make the reader more interested in the topic.

 

Examples:

Anger => fury
Annoyance => outrage
Attempt => bid
Avoid => shun
Cancel => axe, scrap
Confiscate => grab
Controversy => row, turmoil
Criticize => slam, blast
Difficulty => snag, hurdle
Disagreement => clash
Dismissed => dumped, axed
Division => split
Encourage => boost
Exclude => bar, ban
Fail to attend => snub
Fatal fall => death plunge
Mystery => riddle
Possibility => threat
Promise => vow, pledge
Proposal => plan
Question => quiz
Quarrel => feud
Raid => swoop
Reform => shake-up
Replace => oust
Reprove => rap
Request => call for
Resign => quit
Restrict => curb
Rise => soar
Setback => blow
Sex => sex romps
Vital => key

 

Giant, kingpin, celluloid, local hero, reclusive, locusts, high-speed chase, heartbreak, careen, prostitute (or hooker), smart, crime ring (or spree), brazen, Para quakes of lightning, bloody, savage, pit bull, cannibal, horrified, grotesque, brutal, greed(y), feud, malpractice, galpals…

 

Exaggerate on the words to add more drama to the story and make it more interesting.

 

Fury, clash, boost, feud, swoop, oust, curb, soar.

Although most people know the meanings of these words and others, they are not used in a lot of newspapers or books. These words, and others like them are normally found only in tabloids. Tabloids use different words a lot of the time.

 

Giant, Kingpin, Celluloid, Local hero, Reclusive, Locusts, Almost, Bloody, Savage, Pit bull, Cannibal, Horrified, Grotesque, Brutal, Greed (y), Feud, Malpractice, Desperate, Illicit, Unusual, Sordid, Strange, Eccentric, Loner, Price-gouging Porn (star), Jenna (name Jenna is always used), Lurking, Choking, Windshield, Freezer, Cessna, Decomposed, Voices, Recall, Tornado, Extraterrestrial, Snake-handlers, Grand slam, Ringside brawl, Abdication, Assassination, Hurricane, Twister, Tsunami, Zeppelin, Murder-for-hire, Debutante (only when arrested or accused is in the same headline), Stuntman, Stripper, Sex toys, Aliens, Confess, Cover-up, Cry, Deny, Dirt, Embarrass, Exclusive, Fib, Gossip, Headline, Lie, Nasty, Personal, Photos, Probe, Reveal, Sad, Scandal, Scoop, Shame, Shock, Sleazy, Tales, Talk, Tattles, Tragedy, Severe

 

Correct=> Call stupid

Dislike=> Hate, despise

Eyes watered=> Broke down into tears

 

Headlines

The headline is the most important part of the article. Headlines in tabloids are very shocking. They include a wide variety of appealing and exciting words that would make the reader anxious to read on.

According to the website:
http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/media_stuff/downloads/ks3%20resources/newspack.pdf

 

A headline must:

 

1.      Fit the story to tell the reader clearly what it’s about.

2.      Make the reader interested in the story and want to read on.

3.      Be on a front page, and should be visually striking enough to grab the eye of the readers at stations, news agents, and news stands.

4.      Reflect the newspaper attitude to the new story.

5.      Fit into a very limited space but still be bold and capitalized

 

Examples of headlines:

“Atlanta Housewife Investigated And Almost Arrested For Losing 73 Pounds.”

“Overweight Granny Loses 57 Pounds, Steals Granddaughter’s Tight-Fitting Jeans, Then Enters Limbo Contest.”

In addition to these characteristics, a headline includes a variety of techniques and various forms of language.

 

Examples:

 

Alliteration

Assonance

Cliché

Euphemism

Exclamation

Expletives

Metaphor

Metonym

Mis-spelling Words

Parody

Pun

Rhetorical question

Rhyming

Slang    

According to Big Al’s website, in order to have a sleazy, trashy, and exciting headline, you should follow a four step formula:

·         Step #1: Benefit

·         Step #2: Occupation

·         Step #3: Geography

·         Step #4: Odd numbers

 

v     Let the headline fit into a limited space

v     Make the reader interested and want to read on

v     Make an interesting visual to grab the reader’s eye.

 

To attract the readers’ attention, use…

 

Alliteration

·         Saucy Sarah’s Sexy Secrets with Secretary of State

·         Sexy Suzy’s Sausage Surprise!

Slang

·         Ayyt

·         Aint

·         Das Cool

Misspellings of words

·         Gawd instead of God

Rhymes

·         Pix nix flix in stix.

·         Doc Knocks Flocks in Flu Shocks

 

Examples:

“Squeezing Pimples can kill you!”

“Medical students learning surgery from comic books.”

“World’s Biggest Kid.”

Tabloids’ headlines are one of the most important things in the tabloid. The tabloid makes the titles so strange and interesting that they attract people’s attention (which is why they make the headlines this way). Titles are very general but include the main point of the story. Sometimes the title might contain advice. Sometimes the title has two parts, and separates them with ellipses points. But the titles in the tabloids are the main attraction to readers. 

Headlines are very important parts of the tabloid.  They fit in the story, and tell the person exactly what the story is about.  They definitely make the story much more interesting and they make the reader want to go on and on.  On the front page, they are big and catch a person’s attention. They fit into a very limited space. Headlines often are made up:

 

Alliteration and Assonance: Repeating things over again.

Cliché: Phrase that lost its originality

Euphemism: Using polite words to describe something that is brutal.

Exclamation

Expletives: Swear words to make it interesting

Metaphor

Slang language

Pun

Parody

Questions that have no answers

Metonym

Misspelled words on purpose to attract a reader’s attention

 

Words that are used in headlines:

·        Boss

·        Row

·        Flee

·        Quit

·        Probe

·        Sleaze

·        Swope

·        Mercy Dash

·        Boss

·        Axe

·        Video Nasty

·        Menace

·        Rap

·        Fling

·        Bid

·        Ban

·        Nightmare

·        Blast

 

Headlines are considered to be the most important thing of the story. They should grab someone’s attention, making him want to read more. According to Big Al, there are four steps for good headlines. Step #1: Benefit. Step #2: Occupation. Step #3: Geography. Step #4: Odd numbers. Another website states that to have a good headline, it should fit the story and tell the reader exactly what it’s about, make the reader more interested, be visually striking, and fit into a limited space. These are the forms of language that are used by journalists:

 

Metonym: where the name of a specific object or idea stands for something else to which it is related or a part of. Thus, the Royal Family is often referred to as The Throne, or The Crown; ‘the bottle’ could mean milk or alcohol.

Mis-spellings words: deliberately mis-spelt for effect, e.g. Gawd for God.

Parody: an imitation of a well-known phrase or saying which is in some way distorted or changed.

Pun: a play on words, often with a double meaning

Rhetorical question: a question to which no answer is expected.

Rhyming: words ending in identical sounds, e.g. Pix nix flix in stix.

Slang: words or phrases not considered part of standard English, e.g. fresh, cool, dread.

Alliteration: repeating the same first letter or syllable (usually a consonant) in successive words to create a poetic or humorous effect (Sexy Suzy’s sausage surprise!).

Assonance: repeating certain vowel sounds in the same phrase or sentence. (Away Day for Gay Ray)

Cliché: An over-used phrase or expression which has lost its originality - e.g. Phew ! What a scorcher!

Euphemism: the use of a polite or pleasant form of words to describe something less pleasant, e.g. the little girl’s room.

Exclamation: usually used to indicate surprise, sarcasm or amusement, e.g. Gosh!

Expletives: exclamation or swearword, usually expressing a strong emotion, and usually deleted or substituted by a less offensive word or sound.

Metaphor: implied comparison between two unconnected people or things.

 

There is also another tip, which is to keep everything short and simple, instead of using 3 words, use 1.

 

To attract readers, headlines in a tabloid are large, exaggerated, tend to rhyme and usually more of a big deal then the article itself:

An example of a tabloid headline:

-“INNOCENT boy falls off bike, all because of SPEED!”

The difference between that and a normal headline is that the author emphasizes the words “innocent” and “speed” because those words are more attractive to viewers. A normal heading would read: Boy falls off bike. Another thing the tabloids tend to do is blame something or someone, in this case SPEED is at fault, if a person’s name was mentioned the article would look more appealing.

 

 

Expressions

 

“It's snooping on the neighbors with a political edge, courtesy of a new Web site.”

 

“A couple who say they were nearly killed by a 300-pound ice chunk that crashed through their apartment's roof and shattered on the bed where they were laying have sued the owner of the building next door.”

 

“Man 'Googles' Himself, Sues for Libel”

 

“Caring Indian marries his grandmother”

Tabloids have different expressions than you would normally find. There are some that would say “the fat, ugly…” and comments like that. They are not careful with their expressions. Many tabloids are unprofessional which is why they write these types of expressions.

 

Expressions are also put in the tabloids to make them much more interesting. They make the reader go and not get bored. Some of the expressions are:

·        Oh My Gawd! (Instead of God)

·        Look at the blood

·        Very Sad

·        Extremely

·        Almost dies from…

·        Unbelievable

·        Ol’ instead of Old.

·        Beautiful

·        Did you here about this!

·        Can you imagine

 

 

Style

     

A tabloid style is like a newspaper’s, with large pages, usually 11-by-17 inches, printed on newsprint. Each sentence is made up of 16-30 words. Also, each column must be justified and the writing should be clear. Finally, each article should have pictures and illustrations.

 

Tabloids have a unique style. Tabloids are not like newspapers, but they are not completely false either. They write about news, but they over-exaggerate a lot. They misplace facts. Tabloids write more about people’s personal lives rather than world news. They concentrate on murder stories, sex and scandal stories, small crime stories, miracle stories, and bizarre stories.

 

The style of the tabloid is just like the style of the newspaper. The pages are 11-17 inches, and printed on newsprint paper. The headline font is very big just like newspapers for people to see easily. The columns of the writing are really small because there are so many pictures, so each sentence has about 16-30 words depending on the amount of pictures. Everything is just like newspapers except for one thing, which is that newspapers are real while tabloids, are fake.

 

A tabloid style is just like the newspaper’s, with some graphics, justification, clarity, bullets, and balance.

 

Tabloids are not lies; they just are not the whole truth. The style in a tabloid is that the author will make a big deal out of something that is normal.  For example if two celebrities kiss, I’m sure everyone will hear about it in the tabloids.  Even if it was a goodnight kiss the article will read: two stars under one moon making out! Tabloid writers are very comedic in a serious sense, and they try to work with words, making it a snappy article.  That is the tabloid style.

 

 

Bibliography:

 

http://apnews.myway.com//article/20040319/D81DMJ9O0.html

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2004/03/18/fallingiceberg.DTL

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1069951.htm

http://www.teacherweb.com/lb/acs/nadaabisamra/hf2.stm

http://www.billybear4kids.com/jigsaw-puzzles/search/Tabloids.html

http://legacy.poynter.org/dr_ink/july2001_letters.htm 

http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/media_stuff/downloads/ks3%20resources/newspack.pdf