Difference Between Tabloid and Broadsheet

Tabloid vs Broadsheet

The difference between tabloid and broadsheet is mainly in the size of the paper that is used to create them. Ever wondered why some newspapers are referred as tabloids while some are called broadsheet? In fact, some newspapers advertise themselves as tabloids, while there is no dearth of papers being called broadsheet. Even though not many pay any attention to this dichotomy, there are differences between these two types of newspapers that will be highlighted in this article. First of all, we will discuss each term in detail so as to have a general idea of each term. Then, we will move on to discussing the differences between tabloid and broadsheet.

What is a Broadsheet?

The first point we should pay attention to is the size of the paper. A broadsheet is normally 11-12 × 20 inches in size. You may not have paid attention to this fact, but there are 6 columns across in a broadsheet. These papers are also sober and traditional in their content and approach. Also, the language of broadsheet is formal and sober. This is perhaps one of the reasons why broadsheets are read by puritans and all those who believe at least newspapers should carry a sober language. It has also been seen that broadsheets have readers that belong to the more affluent group, and are also more educated.

Since broadsheets are more serious in nature, broadsheets prefer to carry political news on their front pages. Newspapers such as The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall St. Journal are examples for broadsheets.

Difference Between Tabloid and Broadsheet

What is a Tabloid?

The first point we should pay attention to in a tabloid also is the paper size. A tabloid is smaller, measuring 11 × 17 inches in size. You must have noticed that most of the popular newspapers of the country are broadsheets. While the number of broadsheet papers is higher, there are handfuls that are tabloids. Tabloids are more attractive in their approach. This is not to say that tabloids are sensational, but they are certainly more colorful in their approach than broadsheets.

Since tabloids are smaller in size, it is natural for their stories to be shorter and crispier than those in broadsheets that carry a story in more in depth manner. Tabloids carry more pictures of celebrities than broadsheets and their readers happen to be teenagers and working class that find tabloids more interesting than the traditional broadsheet. In fact, it is common for people moving along in buses and metro trains to carry tabloids rather than broadsheets as they are easier to read and fold.

When it comes to language and its tone, tabloids seem to be more modern in approach, though there are many who find its language full of slang. In content, tabloids are more prone to publish sensational crimes on the cover. However, it should not be construed that all broadsheets are traditional or that all tabloids are more colorful as there are exceptions to this rule. We have New York Daily News, and also Boston Herald that are considered very respectable newspapers despite being tabloids.

 Tabloid vs Broadsheet

What is the difference between Tabloid and Broadsheet?

• Paper size:

• A broadsheet is larger as it is usually 11-12 × 20 inches.

• A tabloid is 11 × 17 inches. This shows that a tabloid is smaller than broadsheet in size.

• News Items:

• News stories are more in depth in a broadsheet. These news items are serious in nature such as a court trial that affects the country.

• A tabloid carries more sensational news items such as gossip about celebrities. However, there are tabloids that distribute serious new items such as New York Daily News.

• Writing Style:

• A broadsheet is formal in their writing style.

• A tabloid is more colloquial in their writing style. That means instead of using the world police officer they will just say cop.

• Approach:

• A broadsheet is more conservative and traditional in their approach.

• Tabloid is more colorful in their approach.

• Appearance:

• Tabloids carry more pictures than broadsheets.

• Readership:

• The readership of broadsheet comprises more affluent and educated people of the society.

• Tabloids are read more by teenagers and those on the move as well as working class people.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Front page of The New York Times on July 29, 1914 via Wikicommmons (Public Domain)
  2. British Tabloids by Bobbie Johnson (CC BY-SA 2.0)