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Tabloid television, also known as teletabloid, is a form of tabloid journalism. Tabloid television newscasts usually incorporate flashy graphics and sensationalized stories. Often, there is a heavy emphasis on crime, stories with good video, and celebrity news. It is a form of infotainment.
The United States is not the only television market with this genre of broadcasting. Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and France all have tabloid television programming that reflects this same down-market, sensationalist style of journalism and entertainment.
Examples of tabloid television
The basic tabloid television format developed on nationally syndicated programs such as Hard Copy, Inside Edition, Fox Files, A Current Affair, A Current Affair (US), and Today Tonight, which incorporate flashy graphics with sensational stories. Tabloid talk shows were extremely popular during the end of the 20th century.
A commonly cited example of tabloid television run amok is a series of reports in 2001 collectively dubbed the Summer of the Shark, focusing on a supposed epidemic of shark attacks after one highly publicized attack on an 8-year-old boy. In reality, there were fewer than average shark attacks that year.
Other examples include the coverage of 'missing white woman syndrome' stories like those of Chandra Levy, Elizabeth Smart, and Laci Peterson. Critics claim that news executives are boosting ratings with these stories, which only affect a select few people, instead of broadcasting national issues.
Parodies of news and entertainment
- Chris Morris' The Day Today and Brass Eye
- Drop the Dead Donkey (Channel 4, UK)
- Frontline (ABC, Australia)
- Potter, Deborah (October/November 2003). A Story for All Seasons. American Journalism Review. Found at NewsLab.org (July 16, 2005).
- John Langer (1998). Tabloid television: popular journalism and the "other news". Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-06636-5.
- Joshua Gamson (1999). Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Nonconformity. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-28065-3.
- Kearns, Burt (October 1999) Tabloid Baby
- Tabloid Television at the Museum of Broadcast Communications
- Broad, William J. (2001-09-05). "Scientists Say Frenzy Over Shark Attacks Is Unwarranted". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-22.
- Deborah Potter (October–November 2003). "A STORY FOR ALL SEASONS: Summertime crime stories are no longer confined to hot-weather months". News Lab Organization. Retrieved 8 June 2012.