The impact of tabloidisation on the South African press

Holt, Billie-Jean (2004-04)

Thesis (MPhil) -- University of Stellenbosch, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The advancement of news technology in the last few decades has lead to an information explosion of an unprecedented scope. Twenty-four hour a day news channels, electronic publications, the Internet, and a proliferation of print publications feed this media explosion. Coupled with this has been the growth of a celebrity culture, where the lives of the rich and famous have been placed under intense scrutiny. Commercial interests also have to be taken into account. It is conventional wisdom that sensational news sells newspapers. This news is not limited to celebrity news, but encompasses crime reporting as well as high profile scandals affecting ordinary people. As the news becomes more ubiquitous, the competition becomes tougher and the pressure to print what sells grows. The other commercial pressure is that of the marketers of the entertainment industry who have a vested interest in having the stars of their movies, music and television shows enjoy a high media profile. This study aims to determine whether the South Africa media has shown a trend towards reporting a more sensational and celebrity based form of news. It seeks to discover whether the South African news has become tabloidised. This will be done by analysing the content and presentation of the front page of The Cape Times, a Cape Town based broadsheet, over the period of several years. This will be used as a measure to determine whether or not the content and form of the South African media is following a trend to tabloidisation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die vooruitgang in mediategnologie aan die einde van die twintigste eeu het tot 'n oorvloed van inligting gelei. Nuuskanale wat vier-en-twintig uur per dag uitsaai, elektroniese publikasies, asook die Internet en die groei van die drukmedia het hierdie verskynselondersteun. Tegelykertyd het die media in die jongste dekades meer begin fokus op die lewens van beroemdes. Kommersiële faktore moet ook in ag geneem word. Met die groei van die media is meer druk geplaas op individuele nuusorganisasies om winste te maak. Dit is alombekend dat sensasionele nuus verkoop. Hierdie soort nuus is nie net gefokus op beroemdes nie, maar ook op misdaad en skandale deur gewone mense. Bemarkingsamptenare van die vermaaklikheidsbedryf moedig nuus oor beroemdes aan, want dit help om hul produkte te verkoop as hul sterre dekking kry. Hierdie studie wil vasstelof die media in Suid Afrika wel meer fokus op sensasionele nuus, ten koste van meer ernstige nuus. Dit wil vasstelof die Suid- Afrikaanse media die kenmerke van poniekoerante begin toon. The Cape Times, 'n Kaapse koerant, se voorblad is ontleed oor 'n tydperk van enkele jare. Die nuusinhoud asook voorkoms van die koerant is bestudeer om vas te stelof die koerant in 'n poniekoerant ontwikkel. Hierdie koerant is gebruik as 'n voorbeeld van die Suid-Afrikaanse media.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50159
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