Tabloidization in Perspective: An Assessment of Tabloid Practices in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The revolution that started globally as changes in the size and shape of newspapers has brought along with it a particular genre marked by the focus towards less serious issues and the treatment of serious issues lightly. In light of this, this study under the title of Tabloidization in Perspective: an Assessment of Tabloid Practices in Ethiopia attempted to gain insights into tabloid newspaper practices in Ethiopia through-the eyes of readers and practitioners. The objectives were to find out prominent trends in tabloid newspapers, the conceptualization of the public sphere, and the perception of tabloids by their readers and different practitioners. The study has utilized qualitative methods of focus group discussions with tabloid readers and individual in-depth interviews. Accordingly, findings show that tabloids deal with serious issues such as politics and in terms of diversifying voices in the political arena and for their entertaining values, they are praised by their readers. Government journalists and some focus group participants on the other hand argue that tabloids have the tendency to oppose the government and constantly criticize its activities. It has been found out that they engage in journalistic malpractices - - to boost their businesses which are seen as crisis for democracy. Some of the trends as pointed out by their readers and some journalists include sensationalism, invasion of privacy, frequent use of anonymous sources, and the reduction of serious issues.



Tabloidization in perspective