This Just In! : A Tabloid Genre Analysis

Tabloids have been a staple in pop culture for the past century. Their flashy headlines, juicy stories, and garnered controversy surrounding those stories have made a big impact on the writing industry. Writing the latest tabloid is an art that is not explored very often. It takes a certain formula to write the perfect tabloid. This formula ends up defining the conventions of this genre. The tabloid industry is not all peaches and cream though. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the genre from false reporting to accusations of racism and sexism. Tabloids might look like just another trashy magazine but they have made an impact on how writers use this genre’s basic conventions to promote their work.

In order to write a good tabloid, a writer has to follow the specific conventions to the genre. According to the website Writer’s Digest, writing a tabloid is an art with specific key aspects that are unique to the genre. One of the key aspects is that the headline has to be eye-catching. Writer’s Digest columnist Peter Reilley states “Boring is the cardinal sin of tabloids” (Reilly). Instead a tabloid writer wants to have a headline that will be eye-catching such as “Headless Body in Topless Bar” or “Tiger Puts Balls in Wrong Place Again”. The next key aspect was to make a long story short. According to Writer’s Digest, you have “to take 10 pages of notes and distill them into one page of copy packed with fascinating details, illuminating background, and hard-hitting action.” (Reilly). The readers wants short and sweet so the more you narrow it down the better. The next two key aspects were to use active verbs and have fun with puns. Active verbs give the headline that bounce it needs. Readers would rather pick up a magazine that says “Cops busted Robert Downey Jr. for drugs,” than “Robert Downey Jr. was taken into custody by police for the possession of an illegal substance.” Similar to active verbs, puns have a way of making the headline seem more interesting to the public. When actor Harrison Ford was dating a much younger women, the tabloid magazine Star referred to him as the “Raider of the Lost Cradle.” The readers had a kick out of this funny play on words.  These key aspects are what defines the genre conventions of a tabloid.

Tabloids may be just be a trashy magazine to some readers but it influences genres that have similar conventions such as newspapers. Newspapers are similar to tabloids because they also rely on flashy headlines to get sales at the local convenience stores. They write their stories in a way that’s less flashy but still captures the point. Tabloid topics such as actors assaulting celebrity photographers, rumors of actresses having eating disorders, or celebrities having surgically done body parts always make their way into newspaper headlines. Even though this influence is small, it goes to show that tabloids have a great impact on what we pick up at our local convenience store. The tabloid genre also has an influence on the internet. Now more than ever, more readers are getting their news from online sources and social media platforms. The tabloid industry has adjust to these new norms by making their stories marketable to online communities. This requires them to mesh their original conventions of the genre to create their own social media accounts on predominate social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. That way the tabloid industry can grow and evolve within the writing community.

A tabloid’s target audience are women ages 18-50 who want something to read to keep them busy while waiting for their hair to be done or the doctor to be ready to see them. The people who write this genre usually work in the tabloid industry or are paparazzi trying to get an in on the latest celebrity scandal. As a member of the discourse community, my role is to consume the information in the tabloid and analyze how it impacts our society. Tabloids bind us together. For example, two women are waiting to get their hair done and are reading the tabloids that are near the coffee table. One woman starts a discussion about how a celebrity got a nose job. The other woman starts a conversation on how another celebrity punched a paparazzi in the face. They start to talk about more content in these tabloids and it eventually turns out to be a full-blown conversation. Tabloids are made to use their flashy materials to create a conversations revolving around their shocking content.

Tabloids have to run the flashy headlines with the most shocking stories. In order to get those stories, they may have to exaggerate the truth or full on lie in their stories when it comes to big scandals such as break-ups, marriages, and pregnancies. This has become such a problem that the website Gawker has decided to do a test to see whether these tabloid publications (US Weekly, Life & Style, In Touch, OK!, and Star) would lie on their covers as well as in the issues. All of the covers and all of the content scored less than 50% in the telling the truth category. This goes to show that the tabloid industry thrives off false information to get their revenue. Consumers have to know that most of these stories are based off lies but they do not care because they want the story to sell so badly that they do not care if about the validity of the information. In fact, there is so much lying in this industry that it is hard for tabloid writers to have other writers take them seriously. According to a disgruntled ex-tabloid writer Krista Bradford, buying stories is “a tradition” and they will do whatever it takes. Truth is rarely a concern when revenue is on the line. She also mentions that once you are in the genre it is hard to get out of and it damages your reputation. She said “I met with network news people and they were telling me frankly the tabloid thing was quite a problem”. Genres that tend to focus on more serious work have a hard time taking the tabloid industry seriously.

Although tabloids are a staple in the writing industry, they have also caused a lot of controversy. One of the first controversies is the blatant sexism that appears in the headlines. When talking about women celebrities, headlines are often focused on their body parts, clothing choices, and overall appearance rather their professional or social achievements. To challenge this notion, the literary magazine Vagenda, decided to have their followers take sexist tabloid headlines and re-create them without the sexism. For example, one tabloid’s original sexist headline said “It’s a bit nippy out! Rihanna shows off her nipples…AGAIN” was changed to “Women goes to sports event wearing a top”. This example showed how the tabloids always focuses women’s body parts even in the most unessacery situations. Another example was the tabloid’s original sexist headline was “She’ll do anything for Girls! Luna Dunham shows off her body in unflattering shorts as she films hit show” to “Hugely talented writer continues to work on hit TV show”. This example not only degraded Lena Dunham’s appearance but used her hit TV show Girls as a pun to downplay her accomplishments. This is the type of sexism in the tabloids is degrading to women because it focuses on what’s on the outside rather then what is on the inside. A newfound respect for women must be acquired in order to gain more respect in the writing community.

From a passerby’s view, a tabloid is nothing but a trashy magazine consumed by young adult women to kill time but that could not be further from the truth. Writing a tabloid is an art. The tabloid writer has to figure out a strong headline and with an eye-catching picture and write juicy, outrageous stories that will keep the reader hooked and give the reader material to talk about with others. The tabloid industry has quite the reputation. The first issue that comes to mind is the lying that is rampant in industry. Nearly, every tabloid lies. The other problem that seems to be rampant is sexism. When talking about other women, the tabloids tend to focus on clothes, body parts, and overall appearance instead of their achievements. This is particularly degrading to women because women are more than just their body parts. These issues do not deter tabloids from making an impact on how gossipy writing is shaped from generation to generation. The reason why tabloids sell is because the hype surrounding their content which other genres have accustomed too. Despite its negative reputation, the tabloid genre has shaped the way writers capture the hearts of their readers.

I’m Back

Guess What?
I’m back!

Did you miss me? Hopefully, you did because I learned so much since the last time that I posted on this site. I have done so much since April 2018 and I have to share this with my audience. If you have liked my previous posts or followed my account before, welcome back. If you are new to this site, I suggest that you read this post to know a little bit about myself. Let’s get started.

When I first started this site, it was for a project in my Participatory Media class. Now, I decided that it would be a good time to revive the site as a personal freelance writing blog. I kept majority of my original posts because I liked what I wrote. They showcased my writing ability while simultaneously showing off my personality. Unfortunately, I had to discard some of my posts because they were either too trashy or too serious for my blog. You live and you learn right. I will be posting more of my own writing more frequently and trying to build my personal brand in the process.

When I first started this site, I was a college senior trying to achieve my Bachelor of the Arts degree in Communication Studies. Now I am a college graduate with a part-time job as an Administrative Assistant for a hedge fund. This job was not easy to find. I applied to over 100 jobs via Indeed, LinkedIn, Career Shift and more. I went on over 25 job interviews to only be told “no” for whatever reason. I did not give up and eventually I got a job that would start a foundation for my career. Nobody told me it would take seven months to get my first adult job but in those seven months, I learned a lot about myself as well as the world around me.

When I first started this site, I was a student. Now I am an adult. Most people do not think this difference is drastic but when you have gone to school for 20 years, it is the only routine you have been accustomed too. When you are done with the school system and left to your own devices, it feels odd. You do not know what to do at first then slowly figure it out as time goes by. I still do not have it all figured out. I am working on it.

Overall, I am excited for 2019. I am looking forward to working at my job. I am excited to advance my career. I am excited to embark on a new journey into freelance writing and hopefully get some career opportunities out of that. I am excited to start this new chapter in my life. Hopefully, it will be a good one.

Faith

Faith. What does that word mean to you? To me, it means that you have to believe in yourself, opportunities, and that things will work out at the end. Those three aspects of faith have shaped me into the human that I am today. Faith is a big part of my life. I started believing in faith when I was little and my beliefs have only gotten stronger throughout the years. I used faith to get through some of the toughest situations life threw at me. Now, I am stronger than ever because I believed that everything would work out in the end and it eventually did. Faith is a hard concept to grasp because it is abstract and complex. Sometimes situations seem like they will never get better but faith always has a way to work its magic.

When I was three years old, I was diagnosed with Autism. The doctors told my family that I would never be able to speak, go through a regular school system, or be an active member of society. My family was crushed. Our worst nightmare came true but instead of perseverating over it, we worked hard to prove those doctors wrong. The thing that helped us accomplish this goal was faith. We had to have faith that things will work out at the end. What I mean by that is I had to face each challenge pertaining to my disability with confidence, perseverance, and most of all faith. Faith is the reason why we preserved through the regular public school system despite the higher-ups trying to push me out the door. Faith is the reason why despite struggling socially, I still push myself to make friends and have a normal social life. Faith is the reason why I am graduated college with a Bachelors Degree in Communication and Media Studies. Faith finds a way for things to work out.

When I was younger, I would have patterns. If you do not know what those are, it was basically my daily routine that was based off the clock. I would have to abide by these rules that I set up or else I would have a meltdown. These patterns caused a lot of stress on myself. My parents even brought black electrical tape to tape over all the electrical clocks in the house. Eventually my parents had to wean me off my patterns by telling me that everything was going to be okay if I put on my pajamas at 8:30 pm instead of 8 pm or if I ate dinner at 7 pm instead of 6 pm. At first, I wanted to defy them by continuing my patterns. These patterns brought me comfort and predictability in a world that was unpredictable. Slowly I realized that these patterns were becoming to destructive to my life. I had to use faith to believe that I could break these patterns. I had to learn how to trust the process which is not an easy thing to do espiecally for an Autistic person. By having faith in myself, I allowed myself to be more open to the possibilities.

Faith is defined as the complete trust or confidence in someone or something.  I would love to have complete trust and faith into someone or something but life does not always give us that blessing. That is why I have to put my faith in opportunities. After I graduated college, I thought I was going to get a job right away. That did not happen. I had to wait seven months before my first job offer came through. During that time period, I did not know what to do. I never had no set plan before. So I had to put faith into abstract concepts such as positivity, hope, and happiness. This created a more positive outlook on my not-so-ideal situation. I had to think of all the positive things in my life, do things that made me happy, and hope for a good job opportunity in the future. By holding out and keeping the faith, I finally got a good job opportunity that will be the foundation for my career.

As shown above, faith has been and will continue to be a defining thing in my life. Since I was a little girl, I have used faith to get through all of the major obstacles that have tried to hold me back. From scheduled patterns to a prolonged job search, I managed to get through the struggle with faith by my side. If anybody is struggling out there, faith will help you prevail. Have faith in yourself, your environment, your support system, and the world around you. Faith is the key to all good in this world. Just remember, even though times are tough, you are tougher.

Love Poems-A Collection

#1- In the Air
Romance was in the air
Butterflies were in my stomach
The wind blowing in his hair
My feelings were atomic

Butterflies were in my stomach
As he took my hand
My feelings were atomic
Our toes in the sand

As he took my hand
My heart fluttered like a dove
Our toes in the sand
I was starting to fall in love

My heart fluttered like a dove
We started to kiss
I was starting to fall in love
It was a moment that I did not want to miss

We started to kiss
Romance was in the air
It was a moment that I did not want to miss
The wind blowing in his hair

#2-Forbidden
There was a boy
His name was Troy
I was awestruck
Then we started to fuck

He touch made me feel alive
A part of my mind was revived
He was electrifying
This thought was terrifying

This love had to be hidden
For it was forbidden
The family hatred was strong
So we had to play along

I thought this was true love
His presence made my heart flutter like a dove
I thought he was the one
Until he said we were done

My heart broke into two
I did not know what to do
He stood there silent
I was about to get violent

I punched him in the face
He put me in my place
I was shocked
My world was rocked

I pulled out a gun
It was pointed his head
Bang! Bang!
He was dead

#3-On this Starry Night
The warm, summer air blew on my skin
I took a swig from the bottle of gin
The sky was covered in lights
On this starry night

I danced with him on the grass
Then I fell on my ass
He lifted me up with all his might
On this starry night

He kissed me on the lips
That were covered in chips
He was twice my height
On this starry night

The music started to get too loud
So we ran off from the crowd
There was nobody in sight
On this starry night

He put himself inside me
I felt passion and glee
He said I was tight
On this starry night

Turns out everyone were stalkers
Majority were also gawkers
I ran and took flight
On this starry night

It was 3 a.m.
I did not want to fun to end
He had to say goodbye
On this starry night

#4-Broken
My first love broke me
I need repair
From the damage everyone could see
From the despair

I need repair
His words cut into me like a knife
From the despair
And the strife

His words cut into my like a knife
There is nothing there
And the strife
Is too hard to bare

There is nothing there
I’m ripping at the seams
Is too hard to bare
So I look at memes

I’m ripping at the seams
My first love broke me
So I look at memes
From the damage everyone can see

Asteroids, Meteors, and Fossils….Oh My

Disclaimer: This is story is fiction.

Boom! I jolted out of bed. I had just heard that loudest crash of my life. Did somebody get shot? Did a bomb go off? I thought I was just imagining until I saw fragments of hot, red lava outside my window. It couldn’t be, is it? I jumped out of bed, ran outside, and saw an event that I thought I would never see in my lifetime. An asteroid and a meteoroid collided near Earth. The remains are the collision are raining down on the planet surface causing havoc amongst the townspeople. It finally happened. The long awaited crash between an asteroid and a meteor. I wanted to say that I was surprised but I saw this coming from a mile away.

This was a news story for a while. Everybody just brushed it off except me. I knew that this crash was bound to happen. I put warning flyers around town, gave guest lectures at the local community college, and even created my own YouTube channel discussing my theories on this crash. Turns out, I was right. As everyone else was scrambling for cover, I simply went downstairs to my manmade shelter. This shelter was made from a rare form of metal that can protect citizens from any dangerous space objects such as the remains of an asteroid/meteor crash. I thought of helping my neighbors but I decided to say “fuck it” and go in myself.

When I woke up, the next day I heard no noise. No cars beeping, no neighbors talking, no birds chirping just silence. I walked outside and it was like somebody just gutted my entire neighborhood. It was nothing but a foreign wasteland. I started digging around that wasteland. All of the sudden, I discovered something. It was a fossil but not just any ordinary fossil. It was a fossil from a different planet. I quickly went to my manmade shelter to study this mysterious fossil. I discovered that this fossil was from the planet Mars. It was a fossil that looked like it could be from a foot of a horse or a dog. I could not tell what animal it was from. All I knew is that I was going to Mars.

My manmade shelter contained a jet pack that could send me to outer space at any time. After the collision, I concluded that it was a good idea to go to space. I set my engines, took off into space, and landed on mars. When I got there, I was greeted with a nice drift a red sand. I stepped outside my shuttle and saw yet another barbaric wasteland. I took my fossil and walked around the planet for a bit. All of the sudden, I found something peculiar. The giant footprint in front of me was the same footprint that was on the fossil that I found earlier. I quickly realized that the footprints formed a trail. I decided to follow that trial to see where it would take me. The results were shocking to say the least.

When I researched the end of this little trail, I thought what could this be. All of the sudden, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and I shit you not a real live alien was standing behind me. I was floored. He motioned me to follow him so I did. He stopped suddenly, took my hand, and showed me an alien village. I could not believe my eyes. I always though aliens were a sham until now. They were nothing but welcoming, kind-hearted creatures. I was so bashful that I kept looking at the ground the entire time they were talking to me. That is when I discovered that the footprints on the ground were the alien’s footprints. The same one that matched my fossil earlier. The fossil was proof that life existed on other planets.

It was that moment that I decided to move to Mars for good. For the first time in a long time, I felt respected. When I lived on Earth, no one would take me seriously. Every thought my warnings on the collision were a joke until it actually happened. Now, I have friends who listen, care, and want to know about my knowledge of space. I am so glad that I found this fossil because this fossil found me a bunch of new friends that I will never let go!