The increasing interest in private lives and the falling off of coverage of serious news is often described as 'tabloidization.' The essays in this book are the first serious scholarly studies of what is going on and what its implications are. Reality, it turns out, is much more complex than some of the laments suggest. As the contributors show, this is not just a U.S. problem but is repeated in country after country, and it is not certain that the media anywhere are getting more tabloid. What is more, there is no consensus about whether tabloidization is just 'dumbing down' or whether it is a necessary tactic for the mass media to engage with new audiences who do not have the news habit.