The trend towards the “tabloidization”

Ten years ago, the top formats of the traditional and printed press began experiencing changes in width and height, in response to the various factors that have affected the newspapers industry and its respective reading habits in this era of digital transition.

We’ve entered, since then, into some dynamics of transformations that have accelerated the “tabloidization” of newspapers that were of standard size, the most classic of all was of a whopping 23 by 29 inches, and that leaned towards other more compressed formats such as the Berliner, which used measures from 12.4 to 18.5 inches, or the most popular in these times, the tabloid, of 11 by 16.9 inches.

There are several factors that have contributed to this transformation. One of them is the progressive cost of printing papers with different inks, aggravated in recent times by the increasing tariffs applied by the United States of America and other countries involved in the economic war.

This escalation has led to large-formatted newspapers reducing their frequency of sales, around three days a week or only at the end of the week, as examples, which in turn implies less advertising revenue at a time when the ads migrate to digital media, this suggests them to migrate from printed to digital, and from not bearing the weight of the crisis, they take a step towards the “tabloidization”, without losing their quality, depth and variety of contents, of course.

But a powerful factor is the fact that new generations, thirsty for reading, prefer to browse the digital media from their smartphones or tablets, without disregarding the reliability of sources, which turns to be the greatest asset of the printed press, which has been able to weather the storms of change thanks to the credibility of its contents.

As the flow of news and other contents within digital media is too voluminous, the digital reader is satisfied with capsules of less than fifteen lines of text, but can only devour an entire matter when it holds high quality and is very interesting to them, no matter how many minutes it costs to go through all the details.

With the “tabloidization”, printed newspapers have the ability to accommodate these reading patterns, which are accompanied by the preference of illustrations, pictures, videos or other digital graphics and shorter and simpler texts. This, in part, explains the “boom” of the digital subscriptions of multimedia newspapers.

The reader knows that these contents are reliable, verifiable, much more than those that circulate in the torrents of other networks, contaminated by fake, manipulated or distorted news, to grab the attention of as many of the millions of users that form the global audience.

The “tabloidization” does not imply, in any way, a correlation with the reduction of the contents and spiking down some quality.

On the contrary, the bet is on the development of a “second day” journalism that goes beyond the news of today, with the novelties themselves, their causes and consequences, people’s reactions, and some complementary elements that help build a wider reality of the subjects, as well as with the analysis, data management and other selective and deep contents that make the difference.

– Translated from Spanish by Randy Rodriguez.