What is a tabloid?

Tabloids are a smaller form of newspaper than a broadsheet and present the news in a way that sensationalizes crime stories and celebrity gossip. Tabloids, such as the National Enquirer, can be purchased near the checkout aisle at grocery stores.

How tabloids work

  1. Tabloids vs. tabloid news

    Not all newspapers with a tabloid layout feature tabloid news. While some tabloids feature mainstream news, many tabloids print stories that might not ever be featured in the mainstream news and might even be fake.

  2. Tabloids vs. broadsheets

    The once thriving print news industry in the United Kingdom could be divided into tabloids and broadsheets. Tabloids were generally associated with the working class, while broadsheets attracted middle to upperclass readers. Today, tabloids still feature shorter stories with bold headlines while the broadsheets maintain a more conservative presentation of the news.

  3. Red tops vs. compacts

    "Red top" tabloids, especially in the UK, are known for their bright red mastheads and present tabloid-style news such as crime stories and celebrity gossip. Compact tabloids feature editorial content that is similar to broadsheets, and as the print news industry evolves some broadsheets have switched to a tabloid style format.

Tabloid best practices

  1. Advertising opportunities

    Tabloids -- print or online -- target a specific type of consumer that may be of interest to a company, depending on its products. Just like any news outlet, tabloids will offer demographic information and readership numbers for potential advertisers.

  2. Crisis communications

    Since tabloids are prone to printing sensational, even fake, news, companies or individuals that get caught in their crossfire need to have a plan in place to respond. Occasionally the mainstream news will pick up stories that were first published in the tabloids and without a crisis plan companies will be swimming upstream.

  3. Fake news

    Tabloid-style fake news has emerged as a big challenge for journalists and consumers. While fake news is not new, the speed with which it travels online can create havoc for companies. Companies need to keep an eye out for fake stories that are traveling on the Internet and have a ready response team to shut the stories down.