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Thread: The Tabloids

  1. #1
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    Default The Tabloids

    I'm sure we're all aware of today's Mail cover:



    Pathetic stuff, but it gave me cause to recall this article I recently read in the Gruniad re: the tabloids:

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/20...-dacre-murdoch

    The Mail website is of course one of the most visited on the web, but a hefty slice of that reach must belong to those who are after sleb scandal stuff, upskirt shots, etc. The paper itself has a national circulation somewhere in the region of 2 million. In the Gruny piece it's argued that the tabloids, like the broadsheets, are losing readers all the time, and are therefore becoming more and more desperate to attract attention and readers with sensational headlines.

    OTOH the Brexit vote seemed to show that the tabloids still wield an influence disproportionate to their circulations. Or is that an illusion? Do the tabloids really reflect the popular mood, rather than dictating it, especially in an era where newspapers are either going under or on the verge of it?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    the Brexit vote seemed to show that the tabloids still wield an influence disproportionate to their circulations.
    How so?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    How so?
    obtuse, even by your exalted standards.

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    You represent, my good Hobson, the dregs of Anglo-Saxon civilization: there is absolutely nothing softer upon the earth. Your flabby potion is a mixture of the lees of Liberalism, the poor froth blown off the decadent Nineties, the wardrobe-leavings of a vulgar bohemianism with its headquarters in the suburb of Carlyle and Whistler. You are concentrated, highly-organized barley-water: there is nothing in the universe to be said for you: any efficient state would confiscate your property, burn your wardrobe -- that old hat and the rest -- as infectious and prohibit you from propagating.
    Wyndham Lewis

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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    How so?
    See that Gruny article:

    Yet on 23 June 2016, almost two years to the day after Gapper had written their obituary, one of the biggest, oldest dreams of the tabloids came spectacularly to life, when Britain voted to leave the EU, against the predictions of most broadsheet commentators. It was an outcome for which the tabloids had campaigned doggedly for decades, but never more intensely – or with less factual scrupulousness – than this spring and summer, when the front pages of the Sun, Mail and Express bellowed for Brexit, talking up Britain’s prospects afterwards, in deafening unison, day after day. Two days before the referendum, the Sun gave over its first 10 pages to pro-Brexit coverage.

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    WRONG THREAD

  7. #7

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    Thanks, man.

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    I don't think that the Brexit vote proves anything about the influence of the tabloids, though. Large numbers of people have always been skeptical of the EU, and there are significant social factors (immigration, economic stagnation, etc) that have increased this skepticism.

  9. #9

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    Blaming the tabloids (whose readership is tiny and dwindling every day) is more a sort of deflection of reality, a rationalisation of events from people who can't ever conceive of being wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    I don't think that the Brexit vote proves anything about the influence of the tabloids, though. Large numbers of people have always been skeptical of the EU, and there are significant social factors (immigration, economic stagnation, etc) that have increased this skepticism.
    You surely can't deny that many people have an exaggerated idea of the drawbacks of EU membership, and an under-appreciation of the benefits (if they're prepared to admit there are any benefits at all), as a direct result of what they read in the majority-Euroskeptic popular press?

    (Well, obviously you can deny it. But I think you'd be wrong.)

    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    Blaming the tabloids (whose readership is tiny and dwindling every day) is more a sort of deflection of reality, a rationalisation of events from people who can't ever conceive of being wrong.
    Average daily sales do not, by a long shot, reflect the total reach of the press. I hardly ever buy a paper these days but it's impossible not to see the headlines of the major dailies every time I use a supermarket, newsagent, corner shop or petrol station. And I firmly believe the headlines and the cover photos get across 75% of the message, if not more. You needn't even read the articles.

    Edit: and as droid points out, that doesn't even touch on these papers' online presence.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 04-11-2016 at 12:25 PM.
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    Er... doesnt the UK tabloid circulation still amount to about 8 million in total? And of course, there's the multiplier effects of agenda setting, flak, and the most obvious - online readers - 14 million monthly UK readers for the mail site with 230 million monthly international readers, and you can x that by social media shares massively extending reach.

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    So you might be talking half of the UK (probably more) visiting tabloid or euroskeptic news sites every month - or more often.

  13. #13

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    So taking all of the tabloids as a group, their daily circulation is about 10% of the population. Is that really enough to be driving the Brexit vote?

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    That's a good point re: the reach being about more than sales. I don't think the Guardian article denies that the tabloids are still exercising a great deal of influence, particularly in terms of framing debates around immigration, the EU, etc.

    Compare that total readership to : 'The BBC News at Ten is currently the most watched news programme in Britain, averaging 4.9 million viewers each night.'

  15. #15

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    That's only a single programme, though -- but still, add in multiplier effects, plus shares on social media...

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