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Pictures in the Popular and Patrician Press

Pictures in the Popular and Patrician Press

(p.111) 8 Pictures in the Popular and Patrician Press
Death Makes the News
Jessica M. Fishman
NYU Press

The press rarely shows the dead, and the exceptions to this rule are most likely to be found in the newspapers least suspected. Tabloids are expected to prioritize vulgar images, but really they excel at politely averting our eyes. Whereas the patrician press is thought to be restrained and respectful in its coverage of sensitive issues, tabloids are actually more likely than others to provide photographs conventionally considered reverential, like professional portraits of the deceased when still living. This chapter fundamentally complicates our conception of the excess-driven tabloid—that unrestrained rogue pitted against the upscale, refined defender of delicate sensibilities. The imagined news practices say more about the entrenched nature of class hierarchies than the reality of news practices.

Keywords:   tabloids, patrician press, vulgar, sensitive issues, portraits, excess, sensibilities, class hierarchy

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