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From broadsheet to tabloid: Content changes in Swedish newspapers in the light of a shrunken size

Journal article
Authors Ulrika Andersson
Published in OBS - Observatorio
Volume 7
Issue 4
Pages 1-21
ISSN 1646-5954
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Pages 1-21
Language en
Keywords broadsheets, journalism, tabloids, tabloid transition, tabloidization
Subject categories Media and Communications, Media Studies


During early 2000s the newspaper market in Northern Europe has been characterized by a trend of format changes as many broadsheets have chosen to adapt to the tabloid format. Similar tendencies have also emerged in other Western countries, making it a transnational phenomenon. Critics have argued that a shrunken size impacts the content towards increased tabloidization, inclining a connection between page size and news content where broadsheet and tabloid format require different kinds of journalism. This study thus aims at analysing whether it is possible to detect such an increased tabloidization in relation to the resize of newspapers. Using the theoretical concept of tabloidization the study takes off in a content analysis of Swedish dailies that changed format during early 2000s. Comparisons are made with newspapers that did not undergo such transition as means of determining whether any detected changes are explained by the actual format change or rather effects of other factors. The study focuses on news content published in 1990, 2000, and 2010, and it reveals that the format itself only has a minor influence on journalism as all newspapers show similar signs of increased tabloidization during this period.

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