Is the great British tabloid dead?

The Sun and the Mail have been sensationalising stories to set their own political agendas and raise the profile of their celebrity journalists rather than concentrating on quality investigative journalism.

Readers are far more interested in gleaning their news from twitter, and Facebook and campaign websites such as 38 Degrees. Newspapers have lost that sheen of reporting facts and letting the reader fill in the political opinion. There is a depressing lack of diversity among the stories our newspapers bring us.

It’s an opinion we see in press less often than a smile in Eastenders or a stable normal character in Coronation Street anchoring the insane antics of the more outrageous stereotypes in some semblance of reality, but the truth is that the great British tabloid is on its way out. Reader numbers are plummeting and the bubble has burst.

Over recent years they have focussed on personal lives of z list celebrities, hacking phones and rooting through bins to get some little peek into the private lives of people whose lives are so boring they should remain private. The less interesting a story the more they glitz it up to make it look like something they think their readers ought to want to read.

Back in their heyday the tabloids would have at least two big on-going stories and three small breaking news stories that could go big every day. They would have one edition that you read, and then you waited until the next day to find how things had progressed.

In contrast, today people get their news broadcast over their telephone direct to their hand, they pick up the local stories they are interested in by following people who specialise in commenting on such things on twitter and personal blogs. The simple truth is that the tabloids have become part of the background noise, rather than offering a destination that people can rely on to provide the information they want.

Back in the day you were as loyal to your newspaper as you were to your TV channel, your radio station, your political party and to your religion (or not). You didn’t actually care where other people sourced their views, but much rather what their views were (actually that’s the bit that hasn’t changed an that is leaving the tabloids behind).

These days we have: the myriad new sources available through digital TV, YouTube, twitter, facebook, personal blogs or sites where everyone can post their own view on what’s wrong with the world.

We work harder and longer. The idea that we want to come home and read something that we have already seen all day from a thousand different angles is becoming increasingly archaic and absurd.

The days when Major events such as the Iraq war or the bombing of Manchester are first known about from the tabloid newspaper are long since gone, and with it is the breaking news story. Even if a tabloid does get a breaking story, you probably wont hear it first from the tabloid. It’s more likely to be an OMG in a twitterfeed.


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