7 junio, 2024

Tabloid: what it is, size and characteristics (with examples)

A tabloid It is a type of newspaper, usually illustrated, that presents the news in a condensed way, in a smaller format than usual. The news it contains tends to be written in a tabloid tone, which seeks to generate sensations or impressions on the readers.

Tabloids have their origin in England, and have been used since the 19th century to present information quickly, in a format that is easy to load and read. In the mid-19th century, this type of newspaper was included in the North American press, as a means of communication that presented illustrations and facts about crimes, aimed at working-middle-class readers.

The word tabloid is an Anglicism that is currently associated with publications that focus on presenting news about celebrities and crime, written in an irreverent and sometimes unscrupulous way. However, there are also serious tabloids, which focus on rigorous and hard-hitting journalism.

There is a debate regarding the ethical considerations related to the type of publications that are made in the tabloids, however, to date it is difficult to regulate this type of publication without this implying restricting the freedom of the press.


tabloid features


The reporting methods that tabloids tend to use are unscrupulous and unreliable. For this reason, they are often labeled as tabloid, yellow press, yellow press or red note. Since its purpose, beyond informing, is to generate a strong sensation in the reader.

violation of privacy

News writing in a tabloid is not intended to inform the reader about a particular event. Basically, it seeks to show all the details of a specific situation, which, on many occasions, are part of the private life of the protagonists of the news.

Social responsability

Most tabloids take advantage of the pain of others or devastating events for the protagonists of the news. This is done in order to capture a larger audience, which allows generating greater profitability. For this reason, they are branded as unethical and irresponsible in social terms.

colors and fonts

Tabloids often make use of numerous bold colors and fonts of different styles and sizes, usually large in headlines. The little uniformity in the format aims to draw the reader’s attention through saturation and contrast.


In most cases, the tabloids are heavily illustrated and feature numerous photos of the events featured. These photographs tend to take up more space than the texts, generating the sensation of visual imbalance within the pages.

Advertising schedule

Within the tabloids, advertising guidelines are also printed, which tend to be easily identifiable.

Depending on the publication, the size of the guideline can be a quarter, a third or a half page, placed vertically or horizontally.

Additionally, you can find guidelines of a full page, double page, on the front or back cover.

Low cost

Coming in a smaller format and having fewer pages than a regular newspaper, tabloids are cheaper and can be bought by more people.

Reading time

Being a more compact format and presenting news writing in no more than five columns, the reading time of a tabloid is less than that of a regular newspaper. This is complemented by the use of simple and colloquial language, understandable to a greater number of people.


Tabloids are usually daily publications, the circulation of which depends on their volume of sales. However, there are tabloids whose marketing is done only during a few days of the week.


Today, the rise of tabloids has been severely affected by online news publishing and the use of social media.

It is increasingly difficult to compete with pages that are responsible for disseminating information on various issues, in real time and free of charge for users.

This has forced tabloids to be more versatile and migrate to an online format that is visually appealing and connected to various social networks.

tabloid size

Compared to other formats, the size of the tabloid format is smaller, being only 27.9 cm wide and 43.2 cm high. Since a standard newspaper has a sheet format of approximately 60 x 38 cm, the size of a tabloid is more practical to read and easier to transport.

The tabloid format may or may not be stapled, it may have a paper band that hugs all its pages, and it may be contained in a protective plastic bag.

Recently, several newspapers have chosen to change their format to tabloid size, in order to make reading the news more comfortable for their users.

In the image below you can see the difference between a broadsheet newspaper (the one above), which has an approximate size of 600×380 mm, and the tabloid (the one below).

Tabloid Examples

It is common to find different types of tabloids in the world. Below, you can see examples for some Spanish-speaking countries:


In this country tabloids are known as «red note» newspapers. Some examples are El Gráfico, whose first edition was released in 1922, and ¡Pásala!


Tabloids in this country are known as tabloid or tabloid press. Some examples are the newspaper Q’hubo, which is marketed daily in 12 regions of the country, and El Tabloide, which is concentrated exclusively in Valle del Cauca.


One of the most important examples of tabloids, written in the Spanish language, is found in Peru. This is the Trome newspaper, which sells more copies than other newspapers in countries like Argentina, Colombia and Spain. Another example of a tabloid in Peru is Peru 21.


The tabloid El Clarín is one of the most recognized in Argentina, since it is part of Grupo Clarín, one of the most important media business groups in the country. Another example is the Diario Popular, whose first edition was issued in 1974.


In the case of Spain, the tabloids have a more serious and forceful tone, although news written in a sensational way can also be found. Some examples may be Diario ABS and Diario SUR.


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Mineo, L. (2014). The Best-Selling Newspaper in the Spanish-Speaking World is Made in Peru. Retrieved from revista.drclas.harvard.edu
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Royal Spanish Academy. (2019). tabloid. Retrieved from dle.rae.es
Rogers, T. (2020). Differences Between Broadsheet and Tabloid Newspapers. Retrieved from thoughtco.com

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