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Tabloid Century

The Popular Press in Britain, 1896 to the present


Adrian Bingham and Martin Conboy

Popular newspapers played a vital role in shaping British politics, society and culture in the twentieth century. This book provides a concise and accessible historical overview of the rise of the tabloid format and examines how the national press reported the major stories of the period, from World Wars and general elections to sex scandals and celebrity gossip. It considers the appeal and influence of the most successful titles, such as the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express and the Sun, and explores the emergence of the key elements of the modern popular newspaper, such as editorial campaigns, women’s pages, advice columns, and pin-ups. Using a wealth of examples from across the century, the authors explain how tabloids provided an important forum for the discussion of social identities such as class, gender, sexuality and ethnicity, and how they scrutinised public figures with increasing intensity. In the wake of recent controversies about tabloid practices, this timely book provides the historical context to enable a proper assessment of how the popular press helped to define twentieth-century Britain.
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Introduction: The Rise of the Tabloid



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