The Gutter Press

Tabloid journalism is also referred to as ‘The Gutter Press’, meaning that they will stoop to very low levels in order to get a story. We’ve already seen this in the rise of ‘chequebook journalism’, phone hacking Murdered girl’s phone hacked (News of the World), paparazzi following celebrities and their offspring (Pink and baby daughter Willow) and selling pictures of celebrities for a varied price range.

In contrast, the broadsheet newspapers (distinctive by their A3 size as opposed to the A4 size of tabloids) are considered serious journalism. These newspapers are more factual, encourage professional standards in journalism and avoid celebrity gossip and scandals. However, even these serious newspapers have, over the past few years started looking more like tabloid papers. They now print sport stories on the front of the paper, rather than the back, have celebrity gossip and have been accused of ‘dumbing down’ their standards in order to make more profits.

However, there are still major differences between broadsheets and tabloids. Look at some online sites:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/

  • Compare the headlines of News of the World to The Guardian.
  • What is the focus of each of the newspapers stories?
  • What type of advertisements are on each site?
  • What sort of people does each newspaper profile?
  • Compare the size of the images in News of the World to those in The Guardian, what are the differences?
  • Pick a story from each newspaper and discuss the quality of the journalism. Are there any obvious examples where the Journalism Code of Ethics is broken?
  • Who owns News of the World?

Now look at the Australian newspapers and compare the sorts of stories and images appearing in The Age and The Herald Sun.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au
http://www.theage.com.au

Write the answers in your blog.

Homework Task
Read Chapter 17 ‘Newspapers’ in your text book. We are going to do the production assignment on page 477 (read through the chapter first). Come to Friday’s class with the front page of a newspaper of your choice to redesign.