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Distinguishing Scholarly from Non-Scholarly Periodicals: A Checklist of Criteria: Sensational
and Tabloid

Cues for recognizing scholarly journals, news sources, popular magazines, and sensational periodicals. Click on the TABS below for tips on how to recognize these publications.

Sensational

SENSATIONAL AND TABLOID

Sensational periodicals come in a variety of styles, but most often use a small newspaper format. "Tabloid" newspapers have been a staple in the U.S. since the 19th century.

Sensational and tabloid publications use elementary, inflammatory language meant to arouse curiosity, cater to popular superstitions, increase sales, and promote the publisher's political agenda. They often do so with flashy headlines designed to astonish (e.g., Half-man Half-woman Makes Self Pregnant) or by falsely reporting on domestic and international events. The recent spate of fake news reporting is a recent, online version of this type of publication.

Examples of Sensational/Tabloid Publications