Tabloid television: America’s shift to te sensational

Date: January 1, 1970
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The essay examines the nature of news and public affairs
programming, particularly on commercial television in the United
States today. That programming, which began to shift toward
sensationalism in the 1980s in a neoliberal political climate, assumes
the trappings of tabloid journalism in today’s society. In place of
in-depth responsible reporting on war, economics and social
issues, news programmes often blur the lines between information
and entertainment, opt for lurid crime coverage without adequate
analysis, and fail to meet the news needs of women and racial
minorities. In a larger climate of deregulation and corporatisation
of the public sphere, the increased concentration of media
ownership by a few large media companies is one explanation for
the dumbing-down of serious news in American TV news. The
author suggests that expanding ownership among a wider range
of owners, including women and racial minorities, is an obvious
route to improving the situation. A less explored avenue may also
be focusing greater attention on the workers who ultimately create
and produce news content.

Publisher: Gender Links
Edition: 3rd Edition
Year of Publication: 2007

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