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University 18 Yrs + | British Politics & the Media

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The British Tabloids Press

The British tabloid press with its sketchy coverage of politics and tendency to look for sensationalism in all stories is not found in countries such as the Netherlands.

Charlie Beckett, who runs an international media think tank, reports that the journalists he talks to in other countries tell him, ‘We have nothing like your filthy tabloids’.

It is not that tabloid journalism does not exist in other countries but it does not dominate the main newspapers and often appears in separate gossip magazines.

The explanation for their prevalence in Britain is difficult to pin down: perhaps the Education Act of 1870 which produced a population that could read much earlier than many other countries and so provided a market for a popular press; perhaps the British love of satire and poking fun at those above them in Britain’s stratified class structure; perhaps relief from the Protestant moral repression of the churches in the nineteenth century.