Often, tabloid newspaper allegations about the sexual practices, drug use, or private conduct of celebrities is borderline defamatory; in many cases, celebrities have successfully sued for libel, demonstrating that tabloid stories have defamed them.
In the United States, Canada and United Kingdom, "supermarket tabloids" are large, national versions of these tabloids, usually published weekly. They are named for their prominent placement along the checkout lines of supermarkets. Supermarket tabloids are particularly notorious for the over-the-top sensationalizing of stories, the facts of which can often be called into question. These tabloids—such as The Globe and The National Enquirer—often use aggressive and usually mean-spirited tactics to sell their issues. Unlike regular tabloid-format newspapers, supermarket tabloids are distributed through the magazine distribution channel, similarly to other weekly magazines and mass-market paperback books. Leading examples include The National Enquirer, Star, Weekly World News (now defunct), and the Sun.
The oldest tabloid known to date is the American "Daily News" in 1919. If it did not have any news, it would simply make it up and use a photograph staged by the newspaper staff, then use an editing technique called composograph.Broadway Brevities was a notorious New York tabloid founded in 1916 which had its heyday in the 1930s with a circulation of 50,000 for its mix of sexual sensationalism and gossip.
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Collectively called the "tabloid press", tabloid newspapers in Britain tend to be simply and sensationally written, and to give more prominence than broadsheets to celebrities, sports, crime stories and even hoaxes; they also less subtly take a political position (either left-wing or right-wing) on news stories, ridiculing politicians, demanding resignations and predicting election results. The term "red tops" refers to tabloids with red nameplates, such as The Sun, the Daily Star, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Record and the Daily Sport, and distinguishes them from the Daily Express and Daily Mail. Red top newspapers are usually simpler in writing style, dominated by pictures, and directed at the more sensational end of the market.