How similar? How different? Tabloid daily paper in different media systems
The article is an attempt to analyse the tabloid phenomenon from the perspective of D.C. Hallin and P. Mancini’s theory of three media systems. These types of newspapers emerged in liberal media systems (USA and the United Kingdom), but as early as in the second half of the 20th century, during a period of intense privatisation and commercialisation of the media, this type of journalism also emerged in the democratic corporatism model, where many popular newspapers began turning into tabloids. This was also where we could see the emergence of new titles which today set the conventions of tabloid journalism (e.g. “Bild,” “The Sun,” “Verdens Gang”). Today, tabloids are present in every democratic country in the world with the exception of the Mediterranean countries, where their function seems to be performed by sports newspapers. They flourish in Japan, Canada, Australia or New Zeland. After 1989 new markets also emerged in Central Europe. Media groups which had limited investment opportunities in their own countries were quick to take advantage of that. Tabloid publishers — the Swiss Ringier and the German Axel Springer — did not miss this opportunity either. The former chose small markets similar to Switzerland, while the latter decided to risk a tabloid on the Polish market. Both publishers have been hugely successful. Today in countries with low readership level, such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary or Romania, tabloids have become a permanent feature of their media systems, while tabloid journalism sets general standards in the media.