Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tabloid Time

According to a recent Top 25 list posted on, only three of the top 25 daily newspapers in the U.S. reported circulation gains in a six month period. The rest of the dailies experienced losses--some significant. Not very uplifiting news for the print medium, yet again. So which newspapers gained while the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe lost readership by over three percent? The tabloids.

Louis Hau of responded to this information by writing an article titled "Is it the tabloids' time?". The three dailies that were lucky enough to gain readers included The New York Daily News, The New York Post, and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In his article, Hau poses the question, "Do the New York Post and the New York Daily News represent the future of the U.S. newspaper industry?"

One of the main reasons that Hau sites as to why the tabloids are succeeding is the local coverage they offer.
"Readers turn to the Post and News to read compelling stories about what's going on in their own town, and from the perspective of the average citizen."

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the local coverage my hometowns' Siouxland Press and Warren Town and Country News offer me, but I'm not sure I'd enjoy getting my news from a tabloid. I can't help but think of The National Enquirers I saw on the news stands as a child with the aliens and christ-like figures emblazoned on the front cover.

Hau makes a disturbing assertion, though, when he talks of Britain's many newspapers switching to tabloid formats.
"Could the next step be to shift to a tabloid format? Leading newspapers in Britain, such as The Times of London and The Independent, have already made the change. And while such a shift would have profound implications for how much news and advertising they can run, some newspaper executives have spoken openly about making a similar move."

Maybe I'm boring and all too serious in thinking that such a move would be ludicrous. I do read the paper online knowing that I am contributing to the declining print medium, but I certainly don't want the tabloids to overtake the newspaper. I'll be sticking with The New York Times and The Des Moines Register, thanks.


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