Help with tabloid essay

Here are some answers we workshopped in class to help with your tabloid essay assignment.

1/ Yes or no statement.

  • Introduce your argument as to wether you agree that tabloid televsion shows should be considered entertainment and then state your reasons.

Yes, I believe tabloid shows such as Current Affair and the now defunct Today Tonight, are purely entertainment and therefore  should be considered fictional.

I will argue that considering commercial tabloid shows are entertainment then bias, media manipulation, quality of news and chequebook journalism all constitute this genre.

After your introduction you can then choose examples

Tabloid television shows contain bias. For example, on a recent Media Watch episode there was clear evidence of a story being taken out of context.

  • Evidence of media bias, name calling, editing in footage of tatoo parlours etc..
  • Talk about street youth gangs,
  • Disability pension story.
  • Christoper Skase

The production values on these shows are generally of a high quality and differ from serious current affairs in several ways.

Dramatic voice-overs
Fast paced
Darkly lit
Taken out of context

  • Give an example of the pensioner and teen gangs that allegedly destroyed the rose bushes
  • Another example is the disability pension and Media Watch disproved the Centrelink rort by proving you can’t claim all that money unless you have sick mum, dad, children
  • How did they edit the Skase story ie  road blocks nothing to do with Skase, it was footage from elsewhere

This is all clear evidence that Current affairs on commercial television are fictional.

Another contrast is with serious current affairs like 7.30 Report and 4 Corners is that Today Tonight and a Current Affair often pay people for their stories, otherwise known as chequebook journalism. Mercedes Corby was allegedly paid  100,000 for the story of Shapelle, .

In contrast serious current affairs shows like the 7.30 report do not pay for stories. They are investigative journaists and trusted to uncover the truth about relevant news and public interest stories.

  • Glamorous hosts on commercial tv in comparison to Leigh Sayles or the hosts of four corners – tradies, single mums, teenagers, celebrities
  • Neutral sets, basic set up, politicians, business people, academics

In conclusion, I have demonstrated how commercial current affairs shows are entertainment because etc….

Commercial TV is owned by people, Rupert Murdoch
You can research who owns channel 9 and channel 7

How do you make money from tv? Advertising

2/Qestion 2 is asking you whether you agree that people should be paid for stories. You will need to argue whether you believe this is ethical or not.

What is chequebook journalism?

  • Give examples of how much people have been paid for stories
  • Contrast chequebook journalism with serious news stories and how they get people to talk
  • What sort of stories tend to be rewarded.

What sort of payments are offered? Are all stories offered the same amount of money? What other sort of payment is there?

Street gang being bribed with alcohol and ciggerettes.

Should news be sensational or should it be serious?

Discuss how chequebook journalism can lead to serious consequences like the hacking scandal with Milly Dowling.

3/ Contrast serious journalism with entertainment journalism –

  • which stories do each types of show focus upon?
  • how long are stories on both types of programs
  •  who do they interview on both types of shows
  • Are serious shows heavily edited like current affairs commercial tv
  • quality of journalism,

4/Ratings, commercial television is based on ratings

Talk about the power of advertising dollars and how commercial tv, unlike public tv survives by charging for ads.

5/ Question 5 – talk about the hacking scandal in the UK


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