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Tabloid Press

“Many different kinds of newspapers are published in a tabloid format…a front page that seems to work like a poster … dominated by a photograph and headlines referring to a single story,” (Becker, pg. 239). The front page of last week’s Stylus issue (Brockport’s student run campus newspaper) exhibited this format with their headline story about the murder of Alexandra Kogut. Obviously the intent of the paper was to display the “most discussed” topic on campus at the time, which is what most newspapers do because that’s what people care about. The Stylus staff took the approach of using plain pictures of ordinary people, and without words we might not understand or know why they are in the newspaper. This idea for the front page actually backfired on them, causing the campus community to be outraged. Over 450 papers were stolen and disposed of because someone (or individuals) didn’t want anyone else to see this controversial front page. My personal bias is that this approach was a little tactless. To display seemingly happy pictures of the couple with the headline about her murder, instead of focusing on this beautiful girl and why she was loved and now will be missed.

Kelly

Comments

Casey
Reply

The tactic used by the campus newspaper reminds me of what Harold & Deluca discussed regarding the Emmett Till case- of how newspapers covered the case and conveyed the horror of his murder by contrasting images of Emmett alive and happy as well as images of after he was killed (p. 265). Though it is difficult to say if the students were attempting to portray the news facts “as they were,” so to speak, or to create some sort of sensationalism as you referenced from the Becker article, I agree that this front page is highly controversial just as the coverage of the Till case was controversial due to the gruesome nature of the photographs.

Abel
Reply

Although there is no raw content in the images used, placing an image of the couple happily together after what had happened does seem like an inappropriate idea. It would seem that placing in chronological order with Facebook posts and updates was a creative idea, but in a delicate situation many factors should be taken into consideration to not offend your readers.

Mallory
Reply

I used the same concept for my post, however, it was focused on a celebrity and not an actual current tragic event. I agree that although the cover is eye-catching, it is also tactless and focuses on the negative event rather than on the positives legacy of Alexandra Kogut.

Jessica
Reply

I agree that there should not be images of the couple happy together after what had happened. I think people should know what happened, because that is what affects us as humans, we feel for her and all the people she was close to. But I also agree that not only should the news tell us the bad story of what happened but also help remember her, and show how much she will be missed by her loved ones.

Sandy
Reply

I think the approach was odd. And you’re right the titled doesn’t fit with the images. Sometimes when publishing a story the magazine or new paper doesn’t take into consideration the reaction of the audience. It’s clear the wanted to focus the story on the murdered and how her boyfriend was arrested for it, but they fail to have the correct images to go with the story.

Nichole
Reply

As many others have already said, I think it’s odd and actually disgusting that the paper posted pictures of the happy couple, but little about what actually occurred. The event was absolutely tragic and pictures of the two of them together seem like an odd statement. Smith and Price’s article stated, “they [people] use media image to show…reality of these other people” (p. 128). The tabloid style above especially does not make sense when put up against this quote. This collection of photographs says so little about what happened. To me, this is very unethical.

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