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Broadsheet Vs Tabloid: What's the Difference?

The main difference between a broadsheet and a tabloid is the quality of content. In broadsheets, a reader can find in-depth, serious, and factual news reports that concern most, if not all, of the people living in a country. While tabloids lean toward entertaining, engaging, bite-sized topics that appeal to a certain group of people.

What is a Broadsheet?

The Wall Street Journal, a U.S. Broadsheet newspaper that covers economic and financial news

A broadsheet is the standard format for printing a newspaper. The common size of papers in which broadsheets are being printed is 23.5 by 29 inches. Usually, broadsheets have 40 pages with 6 columns. The format and measurements vary from country to country but broadsheets are usually printed on A1 size paper.

Broadsheets report facts and actual goings-on both locally and internationally. Broadsheets use a formal and serious tone to deliver news that is unbiased and straightforward. Broadsheets have a reputation to be credible sources of information. Some notable examples of broadsheet newspapers are New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

What is a Tabloid?

The Daily Mirror, a British daily newspaper, classified as a Tabloid

Compared to a broadsheet, a tabloid is smaller in size. Although there are no standardized sizes, the usual dimensions of a tabloid are 11 by 17 inches. Tabloids also have fewer columns, having only 5 or less. Tabloids are printed on Ledger Papers, also known as A3 size papers.

Tabloids usually present their content in an entertaining manner. The most common stories that a reader can find in tabloids are celebrity gossip and scandal, sensationalized crime stories, and less serious content compared to their counterpart. Some popular examples of tabloids are National Enquirer and The Daily Mirror.

Differences Between Broadsheet and Tabloid

A Broadsheet beside a Tabloid

Although Broadsheet and Tabloid can both be sources of information, there are a lot of characteristics that differentiate one from the other.

Quality of Content

One of the obvious differences between broadsheets and tabloids is the nature of their content. While tabloids thrive in gossip and scandals, its counterpart, broadsheets, prosper in serious and important news.

Broadsheets are more factual and just mere reporting about what happened and what the data says. While on the other hand, tabloids are more sensationalized, overdramatic, and amplified in their presentation to capture people’s attention.

Writing Style

The way tabloids and broadsheets present their stories are completely different, too. Broadsheets use formal, serious, and straightforward writing to report their news. Tabloids, on the other hand, are more colloquial, modern, and informal or slang. Making broadsheets far more superior in grammatical prowess.

Headlines are good indicators of writing styles. The headlines for broadsheets are plainer and simpler. While on the other hand, tabloids use buzzwords or exaggerated phrasing to catch the reader’s attention.

Presentation

Broadsheets are more conservative and traditional both in their layout and format. They use fewer images and more texts. Tabloids, on the contrary, are more colorful and attractive. Tabloids use a lot of images and larger texts for their headlines.

As for the sizes, like the aforementioned details above, broadsheets are bigger and have more content than tabloids. Having bigger spaces to fill in, broadsheets are far more detailed and longer in their stories as compared to their counterpart. Tabloids have less amount of information.

News Items

Broadsheets cover the most important happenings both locally and internationally. Broadsheets report news about politics and government, business and economy, science and technology, and other topics that concern most, if not all, of the people living in an area. While tabloids are known for capitalizing on celebrity feuds, dramas, scandals, and gossip. Tabloids also report crime stories in a way that is entertaining and engaging.

Also, news stories in broadsheets are longer and detail-oriented. On the other hand, contents in tabloids are more condensed; it makes the stories shorter but easier to digest.

Readers

Based on research and common consensus, broadsheet readers are affluent and more educated. On the contrary, tabloid readers are teenagers, working-class, or people on the go.

This is due to the fact that broadsheets are far more detailed, formal, and traditional. It doesn’t serve or target a group of individuals. The stories are longer so it takes time to digest. Meanwhile, tabloids are far shorter, engaging, appealing to emotion, and cater to a certain group of people.

Comparison Chart: Broadsheets Vs Tabloids

SpecificationsBroadsheetsTabloids
Length and Quality of ItemsLong, Detailed, and UnbiasedShort, Evocative, Opinionated
Voice or Writing StyleFormal and StraightforwardColloquial and Elaborated
Layout and FormatConservative, Wordy, LengthyAttractive, Colorful, Image-heavy
Type of News or ItemsPolitics and Governance, Science and Technology, Business and EconomyCelebrity gossip and scandal, Sensationalized crime stories Fashion and Sports
ReadersAffluent and EducatedTeenagers and Working Class

Similarities Between Broadsheets and Tabloids

Although there are a lot of obvious differences between broadsheets and tabloids, there are some notable similarities too. One would be that they are good sources of information. Although broadsheets are more credible for academic purposes, tabloids can also be an alternative if a reader just wants to be aware of what is currently happening around.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is more reliable between a Broadsheet and a Tabloid?

Broadsheets are far superior when it comes to the credibility and validity of the information. This is due to the fact that broadsheets have a reputation for reporting factual news in a simple, unbiased, and straightforward manner. Tabloids are more opinionated and focus more on enticement.

Are there any credible Tabloid publications?

Yes, there are. Actually, New York Daily News and Boston Herald are tabloids but they report factual news and are respectable in their own fields. The term tabloid is referring to the size and format where the newspaper is being printed. Sadly, the name “tabloid” has a bad connotation as many publications used this format for their “sensationalized” stories. Thus, making the term known for sensationalism.

What is Sensational Journalism?

It is a type of journalism that is more focused on enticing emotion than being more serious and formal. It is also known as yellow journalism which also involves exaggeration. It emphasizes and capitalizes on emotion to lure readers.

Conclusion

For reliable news and information sources, broadsheets are the most ideal choice. Nowadays, information is abundant and oversaturated. One of the common modern-world problems is misinformation. Broadsheets are helpful to verify such information because they publish factual content about what is happening. Tabloids are helpful to pass time, be just aware, and be entertained. Whatever the case may be, tabloids and newspapers are good mediums to pass and circulate information.

Feel free to comment and discuss about the article in the comment space below if you have any information or remarks to add. If you think we made a mistake, you can also report it there.

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About the Author: Tom Vincent

Tom Vincent graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and social studies. He then started his higher education at the University of François Rabelais in Tours with a DUT Information Communication. To expand his knowledge, he also followed a professional degree in e-commerce and digital marketing at the Lumière University of Lyon. On this project, he is in charge of articles covering language, industry and social.
All Posts Written By Tom Vincent

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