The Popular Press

Дата канвертавання27.04.2016
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Task 1

In order to understand the popular press, you will need to research how the tabloid newspapers began. Read the brief history below and then answer the questions as best you can. You should also conduct your own research into the history of print newspapers, including recent readership or circulation figures in order to develop your knowledge.

The newspaper industry has a long history. The first daily newspaper in Britain was The Daily Courant published in 1702. The Times was first published in 1785 and has remained the longest running newspaper in the UK.

The word ‘tabloid’ comes from the name given by the London based pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome & Co. to the compressed tablets they marketed as ‘tabloid pills’ in the late 1880s. Before the compressed tablets, medicine was usually taken in bulkier powder form. As these new tabloid medicines were marketed, the popularity of the term became embedded in popular culture. The connotations of the term meant it was soon applied to other small items and to the style of journalism that condensed stories into a simplified, easily-absorbed format. The label of ‘tabloid journalism’ in 1901 came before the invention of the smaller sheet newspapers that contained it in 1918.

Newspapers have come a long way since then with use of colour, digital photography and new printing techniques, although the most notable change in newspapers has occurred in the last ten/fifteen years, with the rise of online news and interactive web-pages.

Technology has had a massive impact on modern news. Since the 1990’s newspaper institutions have started to produce online editions. The first national newspaper to appear online was The Daily Telegraph in 1994. An online format provides certain advantages over a print-based format. Online newspapers can update news stories and provide breaking news. The web allows for video and audio content and access to searchable archives. In recent years, technology has also allowed online newspapers to be accessed via mobile phones.


  1. Which newspaper has the longest running history in the UK?

  2. In your own words, how did the term ‘tabloid’ originate?

  3. When did the condensed, tabloid newspapers appear in the UK?

  4. What is the most notable change in the news industry over recent years?

  5. Which newspaper was the first to create an online edition?

  6. What advantages does an online newspaper have over print editions?

  7. Why do you think news agencies offer an online edition of their print version?

  8. As online news is free to access, how do you imagine it is funded?

Task 2


Newspapers can be broken down into a number of types. Complete the table below, supplying a definition and an example of each type.









There are many types of newspaper in Britain. They include broadsheet, tabloid, national, local and regional. The type of newspaper will affect the audience and therefore the contents, language and style. Look closely at three different newspapers, and report your findings in the table below:

Newspaper 1

Newspaper 2

Newspaper 3

Name of newspaper

Type of newspaper

Stories covered

Headlines (give examples)

Language (give examples)

Task 3: Institutions

The news industry has many institutions which are essential to the production of modern news. Many newspapers are owned and regulated by the same institutions. Research and make notes on the following institutions, making sure that you understand how they operate.

  • News International Ltd.

You may wish to consider who owns each of these institutions or where funding comes from and what impact this has on the production of news.

  • Associated Newspapers.


Task 3

People tend to read whichever daily issue is the best value for money

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Task 4

Images in newspapers are presented in a deliberate way. Photographers, some of whom are known the ‘paparazzi’, will take a series of images and select the one most fitting for the story before selling to a newspaper. There are some things you need to consider when looking at an image in any media text.

  • Has the image been cropped from the original? If so, what has been taken away and why?

  • Has the image been enlarged to produce a particular effect?

  • Is the image a snatched one, i.e. is the person in the image unaware or surprised?

  • Has the image been posed and what effect does this have on how we view the people being photographed?

Look at a selection of images from a newspaper and consider how they might have been edited to create an effect on the readers.

Task 5
Choose one of the following news websites to research:

  • Make sure that you obtain a paper version of the newspaper website you are researching! You will need this for the next task, which is a comparison of paper and online news.




Make notes on the style and layout of the online newspaper.

Focus on the following key conventions.

  • Headlines. How do they dominate the available space? Are there puns used? What impact do the headlines have on the reader?

  • The images. Are the pictures used on the online newspapers powerful in any way? Do they tell a story in their own right? How are the people in the images being represented? Have cropping or specific angles been used to create a particular image?

  • Captions. How do the captions anchor the images and help the reader to interpret the story?

  • The copy. What hooks are used by the writers to engage and sustain the interest of the readers? What angles are being played out to reinforce the attitudes of this particular newspaper?

  • Masthead. (Also called nameplate. a line of type on the front page of a newspaper or the cover of a periodical giving the name of the publication). The identity of the newspaper lies in the masthead. The name of the newspaper defines its ideologies, while symbol and colour all help to create a nationally-recognised image. What does the masthead of the online newspaper suggest?

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