Compare tabloid and broadsheet newspaper styles

Compare tabloid and broadsheet newspaper styles, focusing particularly on layout, the language and the audience. People buy newspapers for several reasons nowadays, maybe for its coverage in sport, finance or health, as well as the current affairs, which is included in every newspaper. Depending on these reasons, people will buy different types of newspaper, a tabloid (for example “The Sun” or “The People”) or a broadsheet newspaper, (for example “The Times” or “The Daily Telegraph”) as they have a surprising number of differences between them.

One reason why people buy a newspaper might be for the sports section. In a broadsheet newspaper this would be a supplement in the middle of the newspaper and in “The Daily Telegraph” is about 8 pages, of which very little is football.

Football is considered to be the most popular sport in the world. There is also a lot of writing and few pictures. A tabloid, by contrast, like “The Sun”, on a normal day would have about 15 pages on sport of which over half is dedicated to football.

The people who create the newspaper hope that by covering more sports and more football they will get a larger audience. There is also less writing in a tabloid sports section, again hoping that people will buy something that is colourful and appeals to the eye.

The adverts in a tabloid newspaper imply quite a lot about the class of people who generally read tabloid newspapers. In a tabloid newspaper like “The Sun” a very high proportion of the adverts (that are situated just before sports at the back of the paper) are to do with loans, paying off debts or getting new cars by “easier on the wallet” methods.

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This is implying that a very good percentage of people who read a tabloid newspaper are either: Not very well off. This is probably through no fault of the reader, but monthly payments maybe the only way they can afford a car * Spending their money in a different, and what is thought of as a not very wise, way. This might mean that instead of saving up money for “rainy days”, they might go and spend large sums at a public house and as a result may not be able to buy expensive but vital items like a car, up front.

It must not be forgotten, however, that people in this situation do have the money, but they way they spend it means they have to use methods shown in a newspaper to get a car. Of course, there are exceptions, but the newspaper is implying that the readers are not very shrewd with money. On the other hand, a broadsheet newspaper is likely to advertise more expensive items, because generally it is thought of that a lot of people who read a broadsheet newspaper are well off, and, if this is the case, the adverts need to match this. This is probably why broadsheet newspapers are more expensive than tabloid newspapers, only more well off people or people who spend wisely can afford to buy them. The newspaper in effect is flattering the readers.

Most newspapers have a business section, which tells the reader what is going on at the London Stock Exchange. Tabloid newspapers have very little coverage of this, and example again being “The Sun”. It dedicates about a page to business, and even then it is still thought of as insignificant, as it is positioned just before the adverts at the back of the newspaper. Broadsheet newspapers, whereas, will dedicate a large part of the newspaper to business, including a supplement as well as a few A2 size pages in the actual newspaper. The business section in effect is the nucleus of the newspaper.

Cartoons feature in both styles of newspaper. “The Daily Telegraph” is an example of a broadsheet newspaper that contains a cartoon. It only has one, of which the theme is business and finance, so anyone who is not too good in those areas will suffer, although judging by the size of the business section in the newspaper, only people of whom are good businessmen and women will buy the newspaper. It is likely that the cartoon was a caricature, so it is non-fiction; true in terms of that the characters in the cartoon are someone in real life. Tabloids set aside a page for cartoons, which are colourful and appeal to the eye, making the reader want to look at them.

The main headline is likely to be the biggest selling point of a newspaper. Broadsheet newspapers have a very long main headline that tells the reader the story in basic. It does not take up a lot of the page and only has capital letters on pronouns and at the start, like a normal sentence. It is in bold, to attract the reader and make them buy the newspaper. It never uses a pun as a broadsheet newspaper usually only has serious headlines.

On one headline of “The Sunday Telegraph”, (23/3/03), the headline was: “Saddam so badly hurt he needed blood transfusion, Cabinet told”. Here there are two words that are three syllables long. This could say that the reading age needed to understand a broadsheet newspaper is fairly high. Quite often it will say the source of the headline at the end as it has done here. This is crucial when examining the actual text of the newspaper.

It is important here as it is not known for definite whether the Saddam Hussein did actually need blood transfusion, so the newspaper has state from where it heard this report. Tabloid newspapers still tell the reader the story in basic, but a lot more brief, only using about five or six words. Very, very rarely will a tabloid newspaper use more than 2 syllables for a word in the main headline. This could suggest that the reading age required to understand a tabloid newspaper is not that high. It will use a pun if the occasion is light hearted.

An example of this is again “The Sun”. The main headline here is: “KELLY OFF THE HOOK. ” The pun here is that Matthew Kelly was playing Hook in a pantomime when he was arrested for allegations of child pornography. He has now been cleared of these allegations; another term for being cleared is being “let off the hook”. This event is not that serious because the man accused has been cleared.

All of the letters in a tabloid main headline are bold and in upper case, to get the attention of the reader. Images on the front of a broadsheet newspaper are in the centre, possibly so there is still enough room to have enough writing on the page, but at the same time making the front page look like there is not too much writing on the page, as too much writing in a block means people will not read it as they will think of it as unexciting. The image is of the situation in Iraq and is unbiased, letting the reader make up their own mind. On a tabloid newspaper the image is invariably at least half a page big. The masthead is above it and the leading headline is below it.

It shows a mother with a toddler, the family of a Royal Marine who tragically died. This image is used to give a biased view, to try and make the reader believe that war is a horrible thing by making the reader feel sorry for the family as there is a young child who will grow up without a father. Article sizes of the two types of newspaper are very similar. Both have a variety of large and small articles, although more tabloid articles take up a whole page. Broadsheets have more articles in total, so obviously each one cannot be a page big.

The front page is the main selling point of a newspaper as it is the first aspect of the newspaper that the reader sees when they first see the newspaper. It is here where the most obvious differences between the two types are. The masthead of a broadsheet newspaper is made to look old. An example is “The Times”. Its masthead is done in Times New Roman, which is a font associated with the past.

It also has a logo, which is made to make the newspaper look old and traditional. This suggests that the newspaper is reliable and true. “The Telegraph” is similar in its masthead, except that its font is Old English Text, of which looks like a very old font. Recently it has been changed so that the letters look like they are blacked out, they used to have white in them. They may have been forced to make this change because maybe it could not compete with tabloids that look more modern.

Tabloid newspapers involve a lot more colour in the masthead, red being the choice of “The Sun, “The People”, “The Daily Sport” and “The Daily Star”. This way it stands out, is attractive and catches the eye of the reader who then buys the newspaper. The logo of “The Sun” is slanted forward slightly, forward in terms of progression maybe, and is bold and large. The font is basic and so appeals to younger people. It also suggests an easy and interesting read.

Language used in the two types of newspaper is very different. Broadsheet newspapers will often use words with 3 or 4 syllables like “purporting” and “characterised”. Broadsheet newspapers because of this use far more complex sentences than a tabloid, despite similar paragraph size. An example of a complex sentence would be: “Tony Blair’s War Cabinet was told by intelligence chiefs yesterday that Saddam Hussein survived last weeks cruise missile attack on his bunker in Baghdad, but sustained serious injury. ” There are still simple sentences but these are few and far between.

Tabloids use language that is very simple and use few words that are 3 or 4 syllables long unless it is direct speech. Some examples are “jail” (a broadsheet may have used “prison”) and “quit” (a broadsheet may have put “leave” or “depart”). This is again adding to the idea that the reading age required for a tabloid newspaper is not as high as that for a broadsheet. Paragraphs are the body of writing in a newspaper. This is probably the only area in which the two types of newspaper are similar.

Paragraphs are of similar length; they are quite short to keep the story flowing and to keep the readers interest. In a broadsheet like “The Telegraph” paragraphs consist of a few complex sentences, and in a tabloid, paragraphs are made up of a lot of simple sentences. It is this way because the two types are trying to appeal to different audiences. In conclusion, the differences between tabloid and broadsheet newspapers are down to the audiences they are trying to gather. The main target audience of a tabloid newspaper, after studying aspects of the newspaper, is that of a younger one.

A stereotype of a younger person is that they less intelligent and therefore prefer newspapers that are more colourful, have bold headlines, and have an interesting but easy read. This might explain why the reading age of a tabloid newspaper like “The Sun” is thought to be at eight. A tabloid newspaper will try to manipulate the reader’s view by only giving the reader one side of the story. The main target audience of a broadsheet newspaper, after studying them in detail, is an older person. A stereotype of an older person is that they do not like bright colours as much, they are more intelligent and therefore can cope with a lot of complex sentences, and they prefer newspapers that look reliable, trustworthy and give the truth as far as possible.

It will give both sides of the story to ensure that the reader can make up their own mind.

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Compare tabloid and broadsheet newspaper styles. (2017, Jul 26). Retrieved from

Compare tabloid and broadsheet newspaper styles
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