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Tablodization and the Media, Vol. 5 - 1998, No. 3

Dynamics of the British Tabloid Press

, pages: 95-107[open access]

This article examines the decline of the tabloid press in England. It is a case study of competition between the Daily Mirror and Sun in the period 1968-1992 and the impact this had on the decline in reporting matters of the public sphere in favour of publishing material encouraging acts of consumption. It demonstrates that as consumption among the working- class grew over the period, editorial content moved way from matters of the public sphere in favour of material which encouraged acts of consumption. Further, it demonstrates that the advertising content of the two newspapers reflected consumption pattern changes in the economy as a whole during that period. Quantitative and qualitative content analysis also demonstrates that the increase in competition between the two newspapers for advertising revenue increased both titles' reliance on consumption editorial as a means of attracting new audiences. It was doing this at a historically-specific period in which consumption of mass- produced goods and services in the UK economy as a whole was increasing at its fastest-ever rate. The consequences of these changes were that tabloid newspapers in England were no longer able to be considered 'newspapers' in the classic sense.

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