Have you ever stood in the check out line at the grocery store and read through the front-page headlines of the magazines on the shelf? Many of these eye-catching headlines seem unbelievable, but they probably peak your curiosity enough to make you want to look inside and read more. That is what the magazine publishers hope you’ll do, at least. This type of reporting is known as yellow journalism.
You might think this form of journalism is a new thing but long before radio, television, and the Internet, newspapers served as the means to communicate information to a wide audience. In the late 1800s, as immigrants poured into American cities, newspaper publishers saw the potential for greater profits through increased sales.
Yellow journalism is the American term for journalism that presents little or no legitimate, well-researched news while instead uses eye-catching headlines for increased sales. The British call it tabloid journalism. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism. By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.