Tabloid readership up despite criticism
Despite limited or non-existent supermarket displays, the local demand for tabloids seems to be on the rise in the wake of Princess Diana’s tragic death.
“All publications covering Diana’s death – including tabloids – have sold extremely well – if anything, sales went up,” said Deborah Lambert, spokesperson for Safeway Stores. “The Enquirer and the Globe are in very high demand.”
After Diana’s death, Lambert said Safeway’s corporate offices screened each tabloid prior to sending them out to stores. It was then left up to managers to put them on the racks – as was the case in South Tahoe – or bring them out only upon customer request.
For now, Lucky Food Centers only sell tabloids to customers who ask for them.
“We walk the line between showing our concern and being responsive to our customers,” said Judy Decker, spokeswoman for Lucky Stores, Inc. “I’m sure this is the case with other stores.”
At Raley’s Supermarkets, some are on display under tablets that block the cover photo. Last week, others were only available upon request.
Despite the recent boom in sales nationwide, a majority of Americans support a boycott of tabloids until obnoxious celebrity photographers are kept under control, according to a Los Angeles Times poll conducted after Princess Diana’s death.
Interestingly, of the 1,258 surveyed, only 5 percent said they read tabloids often. Seventy-five percent said they “never” read tabloids such as the Globe, the Star and the National Enquirer.
“Sales are high at (the South “Y” Center) Raley’s,” said an employee who asked not to be identified. “A lot of women over 50 buy them – many people want the Diana issues as historic keepsakes.”
The poll showed that 69 percent approve of a tabloid boycott, and 85 percent said tabloid newspaper editors should refuse to purchase pictures taken by paparazzi.
The poll also found:
– Seventy-one percent of Americans said the princess’ death affected them either “a lot” or “some.” Only 29 percent said “not too much” or “not at all.”
– Forty-five percent held joint responsiblilty to the driver, Henri Paul, the paparazzi, the tabloids and the people who buy tabloids for Diana’s death. Individually, 25 percent blamed only Paul, while only 14 percent blamed the paparazzi. Three percent cited the tabloids that buy photos, 2 percent said the public who buy tabloids. Only 1 percent volunteered Prince Charles as being responsible for the tragedy.
“They shouldn’t make money off Diana’s death,” said South Tahoe High School ninth-grader Josh Myers, pointing to tabloid racks at 7-Eleven on Emerald Bay Road. “You don’t see any pictures of Mother Teresa on her deathbed.”
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