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Tabloids and Propaganda

“Tabloids and Propaganda, Are all of the tabloids true, or are they false? Or do they have some truth to them? ” These questions ponder the minds of the readers of these pieces of journalism when they read them. They often wonder if they are truthful for there are many lawsuits that seem to say that they aren’t. I tend to wonder myself as well. I constantly see the Supermarket tabloids at newsstands or at supermarkets themselves and I tend to wonder whether or not they are real.

The cover itself throws me off though. Most of the time I see a famous couple with a headline for example saying “Brad and Gwyneth are together again… hind Jennifer’s back! ” Sometimes the story itself seems to unreal to be true however people still buy the magazine. Most of the time just for entertainment. The people want an inside glimpse into a star’s life and this is one of the closest ways to find out. Maybe with my research I’ll be able to find out whether or not the tabloids are real or just plain fake. I feel that my need to study this topic is because everyone seems to assume that all of tabloids are false. However I believe that maybe not 100% of the tabloids are false…. maybe just 95%.

Tabloids are believed to all be fraudulent pieces of work used to give more publicity to the magazine. People are known to listen and believe rumors, and that’s what most of tabloids are believed to produce… rumors. My theory is that the people (reporters) who work to get the story for the magazine embellish on the facts that they get from their sources. Or it could be that the sources may be just trying to sell a made-up story so they could make a profit which only benefit them and not the entertainers themselves. However maybe some of these reporters actually have hearts and consciences and write the real truth.

My first question would have to be: “Are there any truthful reporters in the tabloid business? ” If I do find the answer to this question then I will be surprised. It seems that if there are honest reporters, and they are not making up the stories, then it will be a harsh reality to the readers, for most of them use the tabloids as a source of entertainment and they tend to not take them seriously. My second question would be: “Where do the reporters find their stories? ” Most avid readers and haters of the tabloids industry tend to believe that the stories just pop into the writers and reporters minds and they are printed… matter how spontaneous and absurd the story may be. They tend to believe that the more outrageous the story is the more publicity and money the magazine will get. My third and most important question would be: “Are all tabloids false or do some have some truth? ” This is the biggest question of them all for this is the one I hope to answer when I am done researching.

The first piece of literature is a book named “For Enquiring Minds- A Cultural Study of Supermarket Tabloids” By: S. Elizabeth Bird. Published in 1992 by the University of Tennessee Press. This book was a study in which the author, S. Elizabeth, investigated the whole tabloid cooperation. She learned about some interesting facts of the tabloid business. She claims in her book, “98 percent of celebrity articles were about mundane or minor events such as shopping sprees, romances, or rumored quarrels between spouses. In addition, the tone of the majority of the stories was positive. ” She says that the tabloids try to leave the impression of the magazine to be happy so that the readers of the magazine would come back and read the fascinating lives of the stars or of the everyday person.

She claims that they try not to print unhappy or sad articles so the reader will not become depressed. These types of stories tend to be avoided. She claims that the 4 largest-selling tabloids do not feature these stories neither. She claims that another popular story type is the ““inside look” at the life of popular TV shows, with nighttime soap operas and situation comedies the favorites. ” She says that tabloids every year spend thousands of dollars every year on inside information about soap opera cliffhangers and upcoming season’s story lines.

This is a form of propaganda in which they use the information and only put a little bit of it so the reader can come back and buy a copy every week to read the following installments of the publication. This is one of their methods for selling the magazine. She admits the inside secrets of the tabloids as well. She claims that what tabloids do is since they only really want are happy stories, they take a simple story, called a story “nugget”, and make it into a cover story. They get story “nuggets” by searching through other newspapers, magazines, etc. and they take a small story, and try to find out as much information as they can.

They try to get the information by calling whomever was on the scene of the story… whether it be relatives, police, whatever and try and get some quotes. She claims they also try to put words into people mouths. If an interviewee is only saying very little then the interviewer will rephrase questions many times so he/she could get different variations of the answer. When he/she is satisfied with the many answers they ask other relevant information. After this process they take the pieces and put them together like a big jigsaw puzzle, they do this tabloid style.

However if they are not getting the response-that they want and they have to start making up details then they- drop it… for they do not want a total lie for a story. She also says that if there is not a good story to fill up a page, the reporters will make up a story. However the story will not be totally fake for it will have some real information in it. The editor who she spoke to though claims that this is rare though. He says that they (tabloids) do not like getting into lawsuits so they tend to be very careful of what they print and they also have to have enough evidence to support whatever story that they print.

The second piece of literature that I have found is a newspaper article “U. S. Grocers join backlash against tabloids” that was posted on the Internet by CNN on September 3, 1997. It claimed that two of the nation’s largest supermarket chains prohibited the sale of tabloids which contained the explicit pictures of the car crash that killed Princess Diana. The two supermarket chains were Kroger supermarkets and Winn-Dixie and thriftway stores. I think that this was a good idea in part for the supermarkets because the tabloids do tend to publish excruciating photos of accidents.

However they do tend to end with a good ending. Like for example “Even though Eva went through this accident, she only suffered minor injuries. She will be on full recovery soon. ” The third piece of literature that I have found is an article “Supermarket tabloids puts students to work” By: Anonymous. Published on: 09-01-2000. Published by: The Quill. This was an article published in the Quill offering a scholarship and internship program for students at Florida Atlantic University. The selected students will be put to work at tabloids like The National Enquirer, the Star and the Globe.

The program is set to give 12 students each year a $2,500 scholarship and a paid summer job at one of the tabloid industries. The spokeswoman for the college, Teri Berns, claims that it will be a good working experience for the students. It seems that with this scholarship program the tabloids will get a new view from the public. The public eye will finally see that tabloids are actually doing something real and not fake this time and they will be encouraging (especially college students) to involve themselves in this program. This does seem like a good idea.

To find the book, “For Enquiring Minds- A Cultural Study of Supermarket Tabloids” By: S. Elizabeth Bird, I had to go through long hours at the library. I looked up tabloids in the library and I could not anything that was relevant. I looked in St. John’s University library, which is a very extensive library however the only book I did find that had anything to do with tabloids was only a reference book and did not help me at all. I looked in Jamaica’s own library, and well Jamaica High School does not offer much with tabloids.

I ended up finding the book at Queens Public Library in the midst of other journalism books that did not help me at all. I found the first article “U. S. grocers join backlash against tabloids” in the CNN site through a search engine. I believe the Search engine was Lycos. com. The Second article “Supermarket tabloids puts students to work“ I found through the Ixquick. com search engine. This article was hard to find. Especially since it is hard to find any good story on tabloids. With all this information that I have discovered my prospective has changed.

I used to think that tabloids only printed false information. I used to think that the reporters just saw something (like a photo) about a star and then just corrupted his/her life by writing something that was not true. However with the evidence that I have found I think now that the reporters now have hearts and conscious’s and try to write as much truth as the possibly can. In the book “For Enquiring Minds- A Cultural Study of Supermarket Tabloids”, the study that the author did made me realize that tabloid reporters do try to write truthful stories.

It’s only natural (even though I do not think I agree) that a reporter will write up a total untrue story just to keep her job. I do not feel bad for the tabloid magazine when they encounter a lawsuit. In order for the story to be published in the magazine, the Editor would have to look it over and if the story is untrue he would know. It would also be his fault if the magazine was sued so I do not feel any kind of sympathy. With the first article “U. S. Grocers join backlash against tabloids”, I agree with the response of the Supermarkets towards the tabloids.

I feel that it would be morally wrong to publish horrific pictures of someone like the Princess Diana in a magazine that is not exactly known for it’s honesty. The act of the Supermarkets prohibiting the sale of the tabloids is something honorable because no one should be allowed to see pictures of any type of accident published in a tabloid magazine. Even though my opinion of tabloids have changed, I still think that it would be wrong to publish these personal pictures in an untrue magazine.

With the second article “Supermarket tabloids put students to work”, I found it quite honorable of tabloid magazines sponsoring something important for the education of students. I would never have thought that tabloids would do anything for the education of students and yet they are trying to. Maybe they are trying to appeal to the students and are trying to make them buy their magazine or maybe they really are trying to help the students by showing them the ropes behind a journalism company.

The main purpose of the program is to show the students how a journalism company works especially to those students who are interested in the journalism field. I think that this experience would be wonderful for any student who is interested in journalism and would need the experience and the money. I interviewed a person who I know is an avid reader of the tabloids. She seems to know a lot about them and reads many different kinds to see the difference between all of them.

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