Exclaimer: This article does not entirely represent my present opinion
When we think of tabloid-journalism, the first thing that comes to mind is page 3 girls, garish headlines and sensationalist stories. But tabloids are much more than that. At the height of their popularity, over 85% of Britain's population have regularly read them, and let’s face it; we have too. We’re all beguiled by these provocative papers, even if we might not want to admit it. But red-top reporting poses a real danger to British society and is eroding one of the pillars of democracy and culture that defines our country; independent journalism.
We all know that the press doesn’t hesitate when it comes to portraying facts in a biased manner in order shape the way we think. It’s become common practice in most British tabloids and has enabled many of the newspaper publishers to print articles that reflect their political views and to smear anyone daring to oppose them. Unfortunately, this corrupt misconduct is most evident prior to important elections where the newspaper can easily shape public opinion with bold statements and by printing articles in favor of a specific party. That’s why our press is regarded as the most "right wing" and "biased" in the EU, as shown by a recent study made by YouGov. It’s an embarrassment to our proud country. We've become the laughing stock of Europe.
"Our tabloid orientated society is blindly following the agenda of unscrupulous columnists
It’s a fact; tabloids (left or right) have been subverting British society for years and have fueled racist and harmful views. Simply looking at some of their headlines and lead stories published recently has revealed a shocking reality; our tabloid orientated society is blindly following the agenda of unscrupulous columnists. Would Brexit have happened without the constant propaganda of media institutions? Surely not. "BeLeave in Britain" (The Sun) or "EU's migrant crisis is colossal"(Daily Express) are headlines which speak for themselves. It’s not a coincidence that the working-class area of Essex, with one of the Sun's highest readerships, voted over 62.3% in favor of Brexit. The tabloid plague we are facing can also be seen in rising discrimination against Muslims during the last years. Headlines including; "Muslim vote could decide over 25 percent of seats" (Daily Star) or "1 in 5 Brit Muslims' sympathy for jihadis" (The Sun) have led to a nationwide islamophobia. According to the Metropolitain Police, crime against Muslim's rose by 70% in 2015 and hate crimes targeting mosques have doubled from 2016 to 2017. The only way to prevent this disgraceful behavior from endangering our society is to enforce stronger press regulations.
"more needs to be done
Stronger press regulations hold the key to solving all of these problems. Strict regulations forcing newspapers to publish their sources in order to authenticate the article’s legitimacy would be a simple first step, but more needs to be done. Germany has been a forerider for better press regulations, employing strict rules for the accuracy of articles while maintaining a free and democratic press. There are general guidelines in place to ensure ethically correct journalism. It’s even enshrined in the constitution. The rules include that no media institution is allowed to have exclusive access to information which is of public interest. During election times, all viewpoints need to be given equal weight, even if they don't portray the paper’s political persuasion. It’s a radically better and more responsible approach to journalism which prevents public opinion from being swayed into dangerous territories.
Tabloids in the hands of ruthless media moguls pose an immediate threat to civil society in the United Kingdom. We must stop tabloid poison before it demolishes our democracy for good.