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The Language of Headlines in British and American Tabloids: A Comparative Study
Tjaša Pisanec, 2018, master's thesis

Abstract: In today´s technology-driven society most news media are accessible to us in an online form. For this reason their objective shifted from as many people buying copies of a certain newspaper or tabloid to achieving as many “clicks” on their website as possible. An important factor contributing to a higher click rate are headlines. Their main aim is to attract a potential readers´ attention, spark their interest and thus increase the chances of them clicking on a certain headline. In order to achieve this, headline writers employ a number of rhetorical, linguistic and stylistic devices which serve as clickbait. The purpose of our thesis was to explore the differences in clickbait devices used in British and American online popular press. In the theoretical part, we focused on describing media language in general, division of press, popular press features, headline rhetoric and the clickbait phenomenon. In our empirical research we analysed 200 headlines collected from two British (The Daily Mirror and The Daily Mail) and two American tabloids (The Huffington Post and The New York Post) of the same rank. The results showed a high rate of similar strategies used in all four tabloids, as well as some distinctive characteristics typical of either one group or the other. Moreover, forward reference, a fairly recently defined device which is not included in any of the already established frameworks, was proved to be one of the leading devices used as clickbait.
Keywords: clickbait, clickability, popular press, headlines, tabloids
Published: 08.01.2019; Views: 609; Downloads: 117
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