Introduction "I listened to the entire festivity and I was appalled. There were small television excerpts being offered with some clowns, some nonsense, idiocy, filth, complete filth. This is what is being broadcasted in Germany each day.
Tabloid journalism has long been considered in popular culture as a medium for sensationalist reporting. But what is sensationalism in this context? And to what extent is tabloid journalism perpetuating this ideal?
Sensationalism can be defined as a manner of being loud or attention grabbing.
Essentially, it is to make a sensation out of something and, in the case of news coverage, to give a story more of an appeal and to make it more eye catching for the audience. Tabloid newspapers are often accused of carrying sensationalist stories or headlines - it is one of the defining stereotypes of this brand of publication.
Perhaps tabloid journalism requires proper definition in order for it to be fully understood in this instance. It seems there is certainly a down-market connotation when it comes to tabloid journalism. And in many cases, defamation charges brought against the papers have been successful, resulting in large cash windfalls for the aggrieved.
Perhaps this is why many view tabloid reporting as sensationalist. The act of naming and shaming celebrities is hardly one of the defining principles of journalism and, whilst it can be argued that tabloids do more than simply that, it is with this brush that many newspapers are tainted.
But is sensationalism all that bad? Writer Mitchell Stephens puts forward the case that sensationalism opens the door to a new audience. In his book, The History of News, he states that sensationalism is aimed towards the lower class, as they have less need to understand heavy news stories, concerning politics, for example.
Through this method the audience is encouraged to take more of an interested in the news and become further enlightened. A common ideal is that tabloid papers appeal to the lower class and that the more news-heavy broadsheet papers appeal to a higher social class.
Using this theory it is easy to assume sensationalism is a tool used by tabloid writers in order to speak to their audience better and in order to convey a more interesting message. If sensational stories pull in a greater audience then what is the problem with it?
But at what cost does the increase in audience come? Is mass culture becoming dumbed down as a result? The Metro newspaper, a free London daily, published the views of their audience on the subject of sensationalism and others areas such as celebrity culture trust in tabloids.
The responses painted a vivid picture as to public opinion: Papers are actually creating stories rather than reporting them. Public distrust of newspapers is generally bad enough but the sensationalistic ideals being promoted in tabloid papers appears to be both influencing one set of readers and appalling another.
When it came to the subject of dumbing down culture, the audience replies were just as critical: This often hinders rather than develops society as a whole.
They take glee in forming bigoted opinion amongst their readership and the masses whilst claiming to merely "reflect public opinion". They should stick to Page 3 and celebrity gossip and leave serious issues to the broadsheets!
Too many column inches squandered on dumbed-down rubbish, sensationalised reporting with no factual context and the media continuing to indulge in openly narcissistic self-hype. And when tabloids do attempt to cover a issue actually deemed newsworthy, there is a definitive slant towards the sensational.Apr 05, · What's Dumbing Down Journalism?
By Richard Morin Washington Post Polling Director Monday, April 5, Reporters don't keep personal opinions out of stories.
Start studying Journalism Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. What has come to be described as the "dumbing down debate" engages both those who "lament" (John Langer's phrase) the decline in traditional journalism and those enthusiasts who wish to celebrate.
Apr 05, · What's Dumbing Down Journalism? By Richard Morin Washington Post Polling Director Monday, April 5, Reporters don't keep personal opinions out of stories.
News reports are increasingly riddled with errors.
And when it comes to covering political scandals, journalists gleefully drive the controversy rather than merely report . 44 MINUTES: SHOWCASING ISSUES IN JOURNALISM THROUGH SCREENWRITING. By. MIA SCHAUFFLER. A THESIS. Title: 44 MINUTES: SHOWCASING ISSUES IN JOURNALISM THROUGH SCREENWRITING globalization and the so-called ‘dumbing down’ of much media content.
The result of the process of ‘dumbing down’ is the product, respectively the programmes. The attributes that were assigned to the term ‘dumbing down’ in chapter can be used in a health check to identify television programmes as ‘dumbing down’.Pages: