A comparison of three front pages of national daily newspapers Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:25:56
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As I flick through different newspapers, I come across all sorts of different articles and I notice that each newspaper does not contain completely different stories from the next. When comparing these stories, I discover that perhaps some of the information differs, the perspective will change and the style in which each story is written can make the reader think about all sorts of different aspects of the event. Having been given the task of comparing three tabloid newspapers front covers, I bought The Sun, Daily Mail, and the Daily Star all covering an event, which took place on Monday November 12 2001.

A jet crashed in New York, America, causing the death of 255 civilians Each of the newspapers are national daily tabloid newspapers, therefore the target audience of all three papers are all quite similar tabloid newspapers tend to target people that are fairly young, perhaps 20-40, people that dont want to know each story in a tremendous amount of detail, but tend to flick through newspapers, picking out and reading sections of articles that interest them.

Gossip columns, problem pages, stars lives, television listings etc are usually included in tabloids to interest the target audience. I will now discuss the three newspapers and how they differ from one another. The first newspaper I will be describing the journalistic style of, is The Sun. Reading through the first few paragraphs of this newspaper, descriptive words are used to create the scene in your mind, however, the journalist, Brian Flynn, also cleverly incorporates the most important details of the story, without destroying the image of the incident:

Terrified passengers on the jet that crashed in New York yesterday were seen screaming at its windows seconds before they died. This is the opening paragraph of the story. Within the first 21 words, the readers are automatically informed of the event itself, the whereabouts of the crash and also when it took place, and still Flynn is managing to create a picture of the screaming, terrified passengers.

It is difficult to discuss how the paragraph lengths fluctuate due to the fact that there are only 4 short paragraphs on the front cover. Each one of them is about the same size, the first summarising the events of November 12th, the second creates a link between the events and those of September 11th, the third giving a little more detail about the airlines and finally the looks at a specific aspect of the event and talks to a witness. The Daily Mail, a middle market paper, on the other hand, takes a very different approach.

The most vital facts of the incident were not even discussed until the fifth paragraph, instead the journalist, Daniel Jeffreys, focuses on the impact that the event had on the American people: The shock hit New York like a sudden ice storm, freezing people where they stood. This opening paragraph, in my opinion, is a lot more effective than The Suns. When a person would read the first three paragraphs of this story, a great deal more interest and concern will be created.

This is because this is an unusual way of starting, the most important details of the event are usually thrown into the first paragraph, when a person reads this they realise that this article is written like all the others find themselves wanting to read on. Due to the fact a lot of the readers tend to scan read the articles and not probably read every single story, the journalist deliberately uses emotive language to slow the reader down and get them to properly read the article and take in everything the journalist writes.

This effect would not be achieved if the events were summarised into short concise sentences. Some of the journalists words are powerful and moving: Their faces, drained of colour¦ It is not typical of a newspaper journalist to write such a thing, but this skilfully forms an image, an image that the audience could easily relate to, therefore I think the use of emotive language makes the readers understand the full impact of the atrocities.

When the more important information is mentioned, it is steadily and subtly fed into the story. By the ninth paragraph, all the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, why) and the H (how) had all been explained. I think the journalist has deliberately done this to sustain the readers interest. If all the most information was in the first paragraph the reader would simply skip to the next story because they would be satisfied with what they know. The first three paragraphs are kept short, averaging 16 words in each.

After that, the paragraphs get gradually longer, peaking at 43 words towards the end of the article. The readers concentration span will gradually expand during the story, therefore if the longest sentences were used at the very beginning of the story, the reader would loose interest and stop reading straight away, but because the sentence length gradually expand as the story develops, the reader can cope with the information they are receiving.

My third source is the Daily Star. This storys beginning is concise and very brief, informing readers of the vital points within the first paragraph. The first four paragraphs, which appear on the front page of the Daily Star, are bullet pointed, each makes a different point, giving us a little more information on the event. This allows the readers to know the main details and gives them the choice to read on.

Each of the paragraphs that appear on the front cover, are on average 25 words long. The sentences are kept fairly long; neither the sentence or paragraph lengths dramatically change throughout the part of the story that is on the front cover. On this particular paper, the headline is about 4 times as big as the story, therefore the headline would have to be extremely attention-grabbing, because this is the first thing the purchaser of the newspaper will read.

The Stars headline is Terror Returns. I think this is very appropriate, because after the terrorist attacks on America, everyone compared the events of November 12th to those of September 11th. Because the headline is large and bold it is very eye-catching, this means the headline will have to be very effective. The headline is short and simple, but because of this, the two words emphasise the severity and importance of the event.

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