I thought that NE was largely a scandal sheet these days while WW is the black and white tabloid that makes Art Bell's program seem like a critical observer of odd phenomena. People know that the stories in WW are made up (but they find odd attraction to the Bat Boy, the Alien that meets with presidents (and even endorses candidates), old JFK, old Elvis, etc.). NI finds (and possibly enhances) photos of celeb weddings, arrests, and just rotten photos of famous people (compare this with the doctored photos that Time magazine has run of Newt, Rush, etc.).
Responsible journalism means that you actually expect to read a publication put together by responsible journalists (who don't fabricate fake witnesses/victims or trigger mob riots) edited by responsible editors.
Kudos to your prof, but this is common knowledge among well-read conservatives. I think even National Review has commended the Enquirer, or maybe WSJ op-eds dept. The main point is even more true, since you only have to follow Drudge to know all of this.