How did the Phrase “Tabloid Journalism” Originate and What Does it Mean?

On March 4, 1884, a British drug company registered the word tabloid for a very small tablet it was marketing.

About the same time, large broadsheet newspapers were challenged by small-format journals, and because tabloid had come to mean anything small, that’s what the new papers were called.

These tabloids often resorted to gossip instead of hard news, which gave sloppy reporting the name “tabloid journalism.”