Sunday, July 20, 2008

Of Tabloids and Newspapers

A decade ago, if someone were to ask me the difference between a tabloid and a broadsheet, I would give them a blank look. To me, then, a paper is still a paper whether its large or small. Then one day in 1998, my senior copywriter explained that tabloids are normally meant for the hot stuff (like those semi-naked pictures found on the front page of a some tabloids in UK), while broadsheets (such as Utusan), are more serious and normally, its news carry more weight. The senior copywriter, Robert, was commenting on one paper's sneer at another then.

Earlier this evening, I saw a TV advertisement on Berita Harian and that now it is no longer a broadsheet but a tabloid, following the footsteps on its sister newspaper, The NST. The line they used for the Ad was "Zaman Sudah Berubah". Might be so, but it reminded me of Robert's comment; so I did a little googling, and came out with the excerpt as below:

blurit - Tabloids were best known for a lower type of journalism that dealt with sleaze, corruption, sex scandals and other things that their traditionally working and new middle class readership apparently enjoyed.

The broadsheets tended to have better written articles, with much less scandal and gossip, much less sensational headlines and people depended upon them for getting their quota of what could now be called 'serious news'.

These days, the lines between the types of newspaper have blurred. The Mirror for instance in the UK had move back and forth between serious journalism and comic type nonsense for years. However, one of the best moves the Mirror took was removing the semi-naked women from its pages, something other tabloids have yet to manage.

WikiAnswer - The tabliod is more informal then the broadsheet.

I guess there's a heck lot more site on this question were one to look it up, but basically it falls within the definition of the two above. In other words, tabloids such as the new BH, should never be taken seriously or better still, not bought at all. The owners might cite 1,001 reasons for the downsizing but to me, its mere cosmetic. So long as BH and all papers in that stable continue with their lopsided reporting, they belong in the thrash bin. The same goes for Utusan. As a friend would like to say "Its the mentality (reporting) dude, not the looks!".

On almost the same note, FOMCA recently launched the 'Buy Nothing Day'. The BND was targetted to all Malaysians, not to purchase anything for that single day which was on July 16. But since I do not read mainstream papers except for the Star on 2 particular days in a week, I did not know about it until I received an email from FOMCA's CEO, Encik Mohd Sha'ani. But that, had me thinking.
What if, now that almost every Malaysian is up to his ears on the political scenario in Malaysia, all of us were participate in a 'NO BN Day!'? We spread the news far and wide and for one single day, all of us stay away from work. But it has to be a working day for it to have effect. Anyone? No? Hehe, thought so. Oh well...


Anonymous said...

ok jugak tu.. tapi saya hari2 pon sudah no bn.. :)

blog ini agak sinikal.. saya suka!

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

wowww, got tons to catch up on. without my laptop, its a mountain task!

thanks shah, now i know the difference between these 2. now however i'm not too sure which category the paper i'm writing for belongs to? alaaa...Surat Melayu tu...some say tabloid. but who cares, as long i'm being paid!

Zabs said...

Salam Shah
"Tabloids were best known for a lower type of journalism that dealt with sleaze, corruption, sex scandals and other things that their traditionally working and new middle class readership apparently enjoyed."
Mereka bertukar bentuk untuk menyesuaikan dengan keadaan surat khabar mereka sekarang (dah lama ptutnya pun dilakukan).

Ydiana said...

Hey, I'm game for this no beli day thing. We can fix a date, but we need the bigshot bloggers to spread the news. Lets see the effect. And if I'm not mistaken, on eBay, there was a period where they planned a no-trading day to protest a new policy. Didn't know how it worked out.

(My ailys still uploading...;) )

cakapaje said...

Salam Alina,

Terima kasih kerana suka. Namun, penulis blog ini menulis mengikut sesuka hati dan mood dia...susah orang camni :)

Saya pun hari hari tidak bn, tapi hari yang saya maksudkan itu, satu hari special di mana kita semua bertindak serupa...ala ala intifada tahun 1986.

cakapaje said...

Salam kerpie,

Tons to catch up? lol! Don't download anymore naughty things eh :)

The difference between the 2 is now blurred by economic factor, bro. Bor a broadsheet to change to a tabloid, that itself should be a statement to the numbers of dwindling readership they have.

And right, write what you can. Just make sure to impart something gainful for your readers.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Pak Zabs,

Betul tu...dengan cerita yang dimuatkan kedalamnya, sepatutnya dari dahulu lagi ia berlaku :)

cakapaje said...

Salam ydiana,

Great! I'll let FOMCA know next when I see them. Problem is, we'll have to wait next year as we both missed the 16 July targeted.

Know what? I'm listening to your AILYS as I write. You've got the touch! Forget the mistakes as even concert pianist make them :)

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

the next time i'm critical of the gomen would be the day i'll be out of job! kahkahhh...mainstream newspaper maaaaaaaaa...

cakapaje said...

Salam kerpie,

Bro, put your faith in Allah s.w.t. He is the one who gives you rezeki and not the gomen.