tends to emphasize topics such as sensational
crime stories, astrology, gossip columns
about the personal lives of celebrities and sports stars, and junk food news
. Such journalism is commonly associated with tabloid sized newspapers, and the terms "tabloids", "supermarket tabloids", "gutter press", and "rag", refer to the journalistic approach of such newspapers rather than their size.
Often, tabloid newspaper allegations about the sexual practices, drug use, or private conduct of celebrities is borderline defamatory; in many cases, celebrities have successfully sued for libel
, demonstrating that tabloid stories have defamed them. It is this sense of the word that led to some entertainment news programs to be called tabloid television
An early pioneer of tabloid journalism was Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe
(1865–1922), who amassed a large publishing empire of halfpenny papers by rescuing failing stolid papers and transforming them to reflect the popular taste, which yielded him enormous profits. Harmsworth used his tabloids to influence public opinion, for example, by bringing down the wartime
government of Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith
in the Shell Crisis of 1915
In the U.S. "supermarket tabloids" are large, national versions of these tabloids, usually published weekly. They are named for their prominent placement along the checkout lines of......