The Gustavian Weekly

Clarifying “tabloid”

By Jake Seamans Editor-in-Chief | April 4, 2010 | Old Editor-in-Chief blog

In recent weeks, I have heard several people attribute a quote to me that The Weekly is a “tabloid” and “not a real source for campus news.” I would like to say that I have never said this or anything of the sort; nor would I ever say this. Anyone who attributes such a quote to me is either misconstruing my words or is misinformed.

What I have said is that The Weekly is a tabloid-size newspaper. Tabloid is an industry term for a particular size of newspaper. The Newspaper Association of America has a good, technical definition of what a tabloid is: “Tabloid (TAB): A publication format with a single page dimension of one half that of a broadsheet page. A common single page tabloid dimension is approximately 10 ½” wide by 12 ½” deep.”

There are a number of newspapers who publish in this format, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Boston Herald and The Hill. Several of our peer newspapers— including Luther College’s Chips, Hamline’s The Oracle and MSU, Mankato’s Reporter—also publish tabloid-sized newspapers. This size is typical among weekly and small market newspapers—due to a variety of reasons, including cost and reader preference.

Unfortunately, this term has been associated with a class of newspapers that engage in sensationalism or celebrity gossip. For this reason, some in the newspaper industry have begun to refer to this size as “compact” rather than the more traditional “tabloid.”

Because of this confusion, I am going to stop referring to The Weekly as a tabloid-sized newspaper. Instead, I am going to use the term “compact” when I discuss The Weekly. I encourage others to adopt this language in reference to The Weekly.

Finally, I ask everyone reading this to assist me in correcting this bit of misinformation. The people who work for The Weekly are engaged in an ongoing journalistic endeavor, and I am incredibly proud of the work they do.