Friday, July 13, 2012

Comparing Two Newspapers

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Comparison of two newspapers

In this essay I intend to compare two newspaper front pages. One from ‘The Sunday Times’ and the other from ‘The Mail On Sunday’. Both papers contain the same story as their main article and the journalists describe the stories in full, on the 6th April 00. The stories are about American tanks moving in on the Iraqi capital city, ‘Baghdad’. Although I intend to focus on the stories, I will also discuss the differences in the layout between the broadsheet and tabloid front pages. There are many more similarities than differences between broadsheet and tabloid newspapers, yet each type does tend to have certain characteristics.

Before I begin to compare the two newspapers, I will tell you about the newspapers’ format. ‘The Mail’ is a tabloid newspaper which is a smaller size format than ‘ The Times’, it is written on A paper whilst ‘The Times’ is twice as big as that. ‘The Mail’ is written for a lower socio-economic group, it contains simpler language and very short sentences. This type of language is called Journalese. Journalese is a way journalists shorten vocabulary to produce punchy headlines, rather than headlines that can take up a great deal of space. Most of this vocabulary is rarely used anywhere else and involves unusual use of nouns, verbs and adjectives,“US tanks strike into Baghdad”

Here the journalist uses journalese, by using the word “Strike”. He does this to play with the readers’ emotions. “ Strike” here is also an example emotive language. Whilst the journalist could have used the word ‘go’, he has chosen a word which has a much greater affect

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‘The Times’ and ‘The Mail’ are national papers that cover the whole of the United Kingdom. ‘The Mail’ is sometimes called the popular tabloid, whilst ‘The Times’ is sometimes referred to as the quality or serious press. This is clearly shown when you look at the two papers.

These papers were released on the same day, April 6th 00 and show pictures of American and English soldiers closing in on Baghdad.

As soon as you look at the two papers you notice a number of differences. ‘The Mail’ is appealing to a mass market, while ‘The Times’ is a slightly more serious looking paper. This is evident because half of the front page of ‘The Mail’ contains a DVD advert and the other half has the paper’s main story. This is done because DVD’s are popular and will attract everyone from children to adults. Whilst on ‘The Times’ three quarters of the page is its main story and the other quarter has an advert about investing, this is done to attract the working population, people such as businessmen.

Also, ‘The Mail’ has a more colourful front cover than ‘The Times’. This again is probably done to attract children and adults of all ages, and to appeal to a mass market.

The title is a very important part of a newspaper article. There is fierce competition to sell newspapers. To attract busy commuters, the front page has to be clearly set out, instantly recognizable as belonging to that particular newspaper and striking enough to catch the eye. Also it is the first thing the reader sees, which sways the readers in their decision on whether they want to read the story or not. The titles from the two papers are completely different. “BloodBath” is the title of ‘The Mails’ article whilst “Us Tanks Strike Into Baghdad” is the title of ‘The Times’. ‘The Mail’s title reinforces the point that this paper is written to attract a lower socio-economic group. “Us Tanks Strike Into Baghdad” is a more descriptive and serious title. It makes it very clear what is going on in Baghdad. The title “BloodBath” on the other hand is a less serious title. It sounds very exciting and the way it is written in block capital letters, sensationalises the story. The title “BloodBath” dosen’t really describe what is going on, so what it is really doing is making the reader want to read on. Also, the size and the way the title is written adds to the impact. Emotive language is used in both titles, but in ‘The Mail’ it is used to create emotion and an idea of dead people, “BLOODBATH”.

The pictures illustrating the articles for each page are different. On ‘The Mail’ there is a picture of scared soldiers in close combat, whilst the one on ‘The Times’ is a picture of soldiers putting out a fire on a US tank. Again the pictures appear to be used to attract their target, economic group and again the picture on ‘The Mail’ is more eye-catching, and dramatic. Design is used both to attract readers and to present material in intresting, effective and eye-catching ways.

The caption under the picture in ‘ The Mail’ is an example of emotive language, “In Iraq’s smouldering capital”.

This is emotive because “smouldering” suggests it has been badly burnt. In ‘The Times’ the caption under the picture describes the story in more detail, “Troops from the rd Infantry Divison battle to extinguish a fire in an Abrams tank in Baghdad yesterday”.

Although in ‘The Times’ the story is described in more detail, I think that ‘The Mails’ article is more effective because the journalist uses dramatic pictures and headings.

Out of the two papers, ‘The Tmes’ has the more writing on it, this is because it is written in more detail. This again raises the point that ‘ The Mail’ is written for a lower economic group.

These are all the differences I found between the two papers. I have learn’t a lot from this essay . The things I learn’t from writing it were what Journalese meant and the differences between Broadsheet and tabloid newspapers, also I learnt that colours, headings, size of writing, etc, are all features that play a majour role in attracting different socio-economic group .

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