Detecting Tabloidization of Online Media in Latvia 

Raivis Vilūns, Mg. sc. soc, PhD student
University of Latvia, Faculty of Social Sciences
e-mail: r.viluns@gmail.com


The turmoil of presidential election campaign of 2016 echoed around the world. The coverage of it spread far and wide. Even local and regional media started to follow the campaign that Americans themselves describe as divisive and unprecedented. Most likely it happened thanks to the personality of Republican Party candidate Donald J. Trump, a businessman and a television star. His personality, populist campaign and many scandals that followed him caught the attention of the world media. The scandalous news that came out of the campaign in the last few months became an interesting media tabloidization study ground. This paper talks about detecting and describing the key elements of tabloidization. Although Latvian online news sites have been running for almost two decades, there has not been an in-depth research on tabloidization of online media. Therefore, methods which could be used to identify the tabloidization of media content have not been developed yet. By using content analysis this study tries to set a base for further research on online media tabloidization and draws the attention to Latvian commercial news portals – TVNET, Delfi, Apollo and public media website Lsm.lv and the news they produced and republished concerning US presidential campaign in 2016. Findings show two major aspects – firstly, even though there is quite a lot of information about the campaign published on those media sites, this information is mostly republished from news agencies, secondly, the study has revealed that there are some indicators of tabloidization to be found in the Latvian news websites.

Keywords: tabloids, online journalism, USA presidential election, Donald Trump


How to cite:
Vilūns, R. “Detecting Tabloidization of Online Media in Latvia.” Journal of Comparative Studies 10 (39), 76–92.