Tabloid Journalism Represents Language Essay

Tabloid Journalism Represents Language Essay

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Living in North America, individuals are exposed to all sorts of gossip based media that capture attention, promote societal standards and ultimately influence ways of thinking as a community. Tabloid and gossip based media are prevalent and very accessible in our everyday lives via magazines, websites, television and radio- to name a few. It is nearly impossible to go through a day without being exposed to some form of gossip; hearing, seeing or reading about what is news in the headlines of Hollywood or even gossip about our own lives. So what exactly is it about gossip media that causes this appeal and what functional purpose does it serve in our everyday lives?
Tabloid journalism represents language in a specific way, with the goal of drawing the reader in. Through the use of lexical language (specific word choices) that are meaningful to the reader, the tantalizing promise of a good read, the use of bold headlines and the audience's personal intrigue in the subject matter, a tabloid writer is able to engage the reader, who now has a certain level of curiosity and expectancy regarding the story. (source) In order to establish meaning and significance, a writer must focus on who the audience is, the message that is to be put forth and how will it be received (Crystal & Davis, 1969). The author anticipates what the audience wants, which is ultimately to connect with the reader on a personal level. (source)
The term “pop speak” introduced by Bagnall in 1993, has been used to represent typical tabloid language centered on pop culture, contrasting the more formalized or traditional approach of newspaper language. For example, an article that is explaining a new medical procedure is going to use language that is drastically differe...


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...(1969). As referenced in Timuçin, M. (2010). Different language styles in newspapers: An investigative framework. Journal of Language & Linguistics Studies, 6(2), 104.
Backer C & Fisher M. (2012). Tabloids as windows into our interpersonal relationships: A content analysis of mass media gossip from an evolutionary perspective. Volume 6 Issue 13, p 404-424.

Safarikova, K. (2011). Columnist proposes crazy EU tabloid idea! Transitions Online, 10.
Schaffer, D. (1995). Shocking secrets revealed! The language of tabloid headlines. ETC: A Review of General Semantics.
Hardy, J. (2011). Read all about it!. New Scientist, 211(2822), 22-23.

Additional Materials

Green, B. Norton, S. (2011). APA reference list. Essay Essentials: with readings. P. 205-215. Nelson Education Ltd: Toronto, ON.
Various Words. (n.d.) In dictionary.com. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com

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