© 2020

Tabloiding the Truth

It's the Pun Wot Won It


About this book


What skills do journalists exhibit in sensationalising, exaggerating and otherwise ‘tabloiding’ the truth, while usually stopping short of stating unambiguous falsehoods? Why has the tabloid news not collapsed as predicted, but thrived as a medium in an age of interaction and online commentary? This book is a comprehensive and accessible exploration of the British tabloid newspapers from the 1960s to the present day. Examining topics such as sex and the representation of women, national stereotypes and Britain’s relationship with Europe, war coverage, celebrities, investigative journalism and instances where the tabloids have misread the public mood, the author draws on Critical Discourse Analysis and Stylistics to take a language-led approach to the UK tabloids. With its interdisciplinary approach and readable prose style, this book will be of interest to a wide range of readers across language and linguistics, media and communication, journalism, political science and British cultural studies.

Steve Buckledee is a Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Cagliari, Italy. His previous publications include The Role of Motivation in Second Language Acquisition (2011) and The Language of Brexit (2018).


metaphor puns tabloid journalism news media newspapers critical discourse analysis (CDA) the Sun Daily Star Sunday Express editorials Daily Mail digital revolution celebrity gossip military conflict reporting immigration racism sexism investigative journalism public mood

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of HumanitiesUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly

About the authors

Steve Buckledee is a Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Cagliari, Italy. His previous publications include The Role of Motivation in Second Language Acquisition (2011) and The Language of Brexit (2018).

Bibliographic information


“This thematically-organised book provides an objective and well-balanced account of the popular press in the UK. It is detailed enough to be suitable for students of Journalism, Linguistics and British Culture, and readable enough to be accessible to the layperson.  Scholars will also undoubtedly appreciate the extraordinary insight that the volume offers into this ‘particularly British beast’.” (David Brett, University of Sassari, Italy)

“Steve Buckledee presents us with a thorough, well researched analyses of the British tabloid phenomenon. His scholarly, narrative voice is authoritative, trustworthy and, at the same time, not overburdened by undue intellectual zeal. Whether you are an academic, journalist, researcher or just an inquisitive reader, this book will communicate with you in informative and pleasurable ways.” (Nebojša Radić, University of Cambridge, UK)

“Uniquely combining an accessible writing style and thoughtful analyses, this excellent book provides a detailed exploration of the use of language in the British tabloid newspapers since the 1960s. Ambitious yet approachable, this is a refreshing addition to the scholarship on tabloid media and the use of language in media more generally. Both highly welcome and recommended.” (Monika Brusenbauch Meislová, Masaryk University, Czech Republic)