The simple every day language and its small format are probably the most noticeable characteristics of a tabloid. The name in itself according to any available dictionary means compressed and it is derived from tablets marketed as tabloid pills which replaced medicine that was usually taken in powder form. The language used in the articles as well as the length of the articles well reflects its name. As they are smaller in length than in usual newspapers and mainly consist of short strait to the point sentences not rarely involving elements of slang, everyday expressions and nicknames.
Due to the size and the simple form of the newspaper the articles in it can be read at the pub, on a train or any other time when we dont have much time or we cant devote our entire attention. There is also the fact that a broadsheet newspaper would require much more space as it is twice as big. Each one of us can easily imagine how one can poke someones eye out or strangle him or her self with his own arms trying to read a medium size book in a crowded bus not to mention a full-sized newspaper.
The smaller size and simple form beside the obvious advantages as well have their shortcomings. Seen in the constant struggle between size and information. The tabloid press because of its compact format is generally forced to focus around the main usually emotive and shocking elements of a news story excluding other less important ones. The use of economical, informal language as well deepens this problem as it tends to be highly emotional and bound with a noticeable attitude compared with formal language used in broadsheets which is more neutral and none-subjective. This obviously not only leads to a reduction in the news content provided for the reader but adds a danger that the story might seem sensationalistic, biased or even directly supporting one of the presented parties.
Another feature that even further reduces the space of the articles is connected with the big headlines and pictures presented in the paper. One can ask why a paper with so little space regarding articles has that many pictures not rarely being more than a quarter of the entire page. The answer is quite simple. That is to draw our attention. Tabloids as mentioned before are newspapers generally read on means of transport, waiting rooms etc. Their are quick to read and cheaper than a full-sized newspaper meaning that they are functional only for a short time and are less profitable.
Therefore they have to be as much attractive to a customer as its humanly possible to lure him or her into purchasing an another issue. And the fact is that most eye-catching are colourful pages with big pictures and big catchy headlines which focus our attention almost immediately. The same explanation can be used to describe the topics of articles in this journalistic genre that concentrate on common subjects of interest like celebrities, crime stories, sports etc. and discard those of peripheral interest like economic analyses.
In conclusion the tabloid press reports the news focusing on the popular topics that are designed to immediately attract our attention with the help of big catchy headlines and colourful pages. Described using short straight to the point sentences and everyday language which is easy to read and entertaining but can also be interpreted as bias and emotional. The format of the paper on one hand leads to a reduction of the news content in the article by concentrating on the main part of the story on the other it produces a quick and pleasant read that is easy to carry. All in all it has to be admitted that the tabloid press is precisely what it was supposed to be from the start of its existence, a way to fill those few minutes at the bus stop or give us an excuse to sit alone at a pub.