Comparing two newspaper articles, one from a tabloid and one from a broadsheet will convey the different techniques that tabloids and broadsheets use to present stories. Media in general, aim to inform and interest the audience which consist of many different types. Diverse emotions and ideas are created by the media; foremost tabloids. Tabloids are papers like The Sun’, The Mirror’, The Daily Mail’, The Express’ and The Star’. In contrast to these are broadsheets like The Times’, The Guardian’ and The Daily Telegraph’. Broadsheets are often known as the quality press’ being more informing and formal in the manner they convey information and news stories.
Different newspapers show different stories; stories the reader can relate to or stories that inform the reader. Personal stories are more often shown in tabloids where as stories that inform are shown in broadsheets.
My two articles I have chosen to compare are from the The Sun’ and The Times’. They are about a man who has kidnapped an eight-year-old girl, Sarah Payne. The police have recently issued an e-fit picture of the kidnapper to the media. The two newspapers present the story in different ways, therefore, both newspapers have to be attractive to sell well. To be eye-catching’ the layout of the article is very important. The Sun’ has used the e-fit picture of the kidnapper on the front-page, which takes up 75% of the page. However, this is very helpful because even if the paper does not sell the customers will see the e-fit picture. There is a single column along side the picture which is headed by Sarah Payne’, who has been kidnapped. The picture of the kidnapper is very sincere and the man is unshaven making him look evil and scary. The headline is also bold and eye-catching because the black background illuminates the white headline. The headline is put in the form one word, one line’ to make it sound like an instruction:
The use of capitals in a headline is common and the missing THE’ between FIND’ and MAN’ makes the headline seem like an order to do something.
In contrast to the layout of The Sun’, The Times’ puts this story on page three because it does not think it is newsworthy for the front-page and its style of readers. The Times’ also has a smaller e-fit picture than The Sun’, it is made up of two columns both of which have small paragraphs. The headline of the broadsheet is affective:
of M6 man”
Notice how there is no use of capitals which is usual for broadsheet headlines. In this headline there is a comma missing after Sarah’ just to make the headline more catchy and snappy. There is also alliteration M6′ and man’ which labels the kidnapper as the M6 man. Hence, The Sun’ sees the kidnapping story more newsworthy for its readers and so presents it in a more affective way, regarding the layout.
In contrast to a broadsheet a tabloid’s audience is aimed at socio-economic group C and below. Tabloids are aimed at a younger audience and focus on issues that their readers can relate to. The targeted audience for the picture is everybody because The Sun’ wants everybody to see it and hopefully recognize the kidnapper. It is easily recognizable that The Sun’ is meant for readers that may or may not be highly educated, hence, it is called The People’s Paper’. Therefore, the language used has to be simple:
“Police also boosted the hunt yesterday by issuing an e-fit (above) of a suspect.”
The colloquial word boosted’ adds evidence that The Sun’ targets a simple audience; an audience which do not have to be highly educated.
On the other hand, The Times’ targets socio-economic group C+. Further more, the broadsheet is targeted at the age group 30+ and readers absorbed in financial, political or other international matters or events. Therefore, the broadsheet is associated with educated and capable readers:
“Sussex police repeated calls for the man to come forward to be eliminated from the inquiries into the possible abduction.”
There is a lack of colloquial language and a lot of words like eliminated’, inquiries’ and abduction’. The sentence is also long and complexed, this shows that the article is aimed at a more capable reader than a tabloid’s reader.
Language is a key tool in making a newspaper as affective as possible, it keeps the reader interested. Tabloids use more simple language than broadsheets:
“We are offering a 50,000 reward to nail the man thought to have abducted her.”
The use of the word nail’ is colloquial, hence the simple language. Further more, the sentence is short and simple. There is a low level of technical jargon like eliminated’ and distributed’. Lastly, emotive language is frequently used in tabloids through words such as beast’, snatched’, hunting’, nail’, loves’, boosted’, vanished’ and other similar words produce emotional feelings.
On the contrary, broadsheets are there to inform than to provoke emotions and so will use detail in their text. Long, complexed, and detailed sentences are a common occurrence:
“In spite of more than 1,200 calls in the past 24 hours after the sighting was made public, no one has come forward to explain the incident or identify those involved.”
The use of the discursive marker allows the text to flow. The sentence is long, complexed, detailed and informative due to the use of numbers. All this shows that the article is aimed at capable readers. There is hardly any emotive language due to the informative focus. Naturally, there is more technical jargon like prompt’, lavatories’, eliminated’, inferences’ and malicious’. The high level of technical jargon is a way of informing a broadsheet’s audience. Therefore, tabloids and broadsheets use very different language, but both use it to attract and keep the reader interested in the article.
With reference to interviews an article seems more informative. The interview also backs the article because it shows evidence for what it is trying to convey. The Sun uses an interview to show itself as helpful:
“And Chief Insp Mike Alderson said: “I’d like to say a massive thank-you to The Sun for all your help in publicising Sarah’s plight.”
The Sun’ has used this quote to make itself look good, it has also been used because a man highly respected within the police said it, proving its credibility. However, The Sun’ has not used an interview to inform the reader unlike The Times’, which carries a main purpose of informing its readers.
Due to the informing purpose The Times’ uses a quote from Chief Inspector Mike Alderson, which talks about the e-fit picture. A very informative interview comes from Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Yeo of Sussex Police:
“As time goes on, it is strange that this man, if he is aware of the public appeal, does not come forward to be eliminated. Inferences can be drawn.”
This suggests that the man seen was the kidnapper. The constable is leaving the reader to reach their own opinion when he says Inferences can be drawn’. Due to the clash of aims of a tabloid and broadsheet the technique of interviewing is used differently. A tabloid uses it to entertain or prove more than to inform. In contrast the broadsheet uses the interview to inform or state a fact and just generally shows a persons viewpoint.
In order to cause emotions a tabloid has to be biased and argue a point. Due to this need for emotions most tabloids will be biased particularly The Sun’. In the article being analysed The Sun’ is biased because it displays hate for the kidnapper:
“THE Sun today offers a 50,000 reward to catch the beast who snatched Sarah Payne.”
Hate is displayed by showing the kidnapper as an animal when it uses the phrase catch the beast’. It also shows the kidnapper as a violent person by saying that he snatched’ Sarah Payne. To make the first sentence affective, The Sun’ has rhymed snatch and catch in one sentence. The Sun’ is biased towards Sarah and her family:
“And we hope the cash will lead to the eight-year-old being returned to the family that loves her so much.”
This sentence makes the reader feel sympathy for Sarah and her family. The sympathy is achieved by using eight-year-old’ instead of Sarah’ because her age reveals her innocence. Sympathy is also caused by saying how much love her family has for her. An opinion seems like a fact when The Sun’ labels the kidnapper as a beast’. This is done so that the reader does not dismiss the journalists views as unworthy. Therefore, the biased tone is established by an article arguing a point by using emotive language and mixing up facts and opinions.
Due to the informative aim of a broadsheet it is less biased and lets the reader draw their own opinions and conclusions. A broadsheet shows no emotion for a person or cause. Since there is no biased feelings, a mixing of fact and opinion is not needed as shown in The Times’. The Times’ displays fact, no personal opinions have been adopted and it has not been biased, which leads me to conclude that a broadsheet is a better source of information than a tabloid.
With relation to language comes the tone of an article. The article from The Sun’ is of an informative, angry and sad tone. The informing tone is simply created by displaying the e-fit picture, but the emotional angry and sad tones are created by using emotive language and opinions.
Broadsheets have a more informative tone because they only inform using facts:
“The girl, who said that her name was Sarah, was found crying in the ladies’ lavatories at 5am on Sunday, July 2.”
This is a fact because it can be proved; only facts like these can inform the reader. Another reason which leads us to believe it is a fact is due to the usage of numbers.
To be helpful with police inquiries, The Sun’ has a particular message saying find this man and we’ll give you money’. This method has been employed to encourage readers to give as much information as possible and so, the message has to be bold and eye-catching. Therefore, it is presented with white writing on a red background:
“50,000 Sun REWARD”
Notice the use of capitals on the words that are likely to interest the reader. This follows the headline:
Instantly the reader realizes if they find the kidnapper then they will receive 50,000. The Sun’ does have a particular message, which is common for tabloids.
No particular message is delivered to the reader by The Times’. The article tells the reader about the e-fit picture and has been written to only inform the reader.
Lastly from analysing two articles, one from a broadsheet and the other from a tabloid, I can conclude that the layout, audience, language, interviews, whether the article is biased or not, the tone and whether they include a message or not all differ and clash. The cause of this diversity is due to clashing aims and different types of readers. Tabloids aim to mainly create emotion amongst readers, where as a broadsheets aim to inform its readers. Readers of a tabloid are normally less educated and interested in issues that affect them. On the contrary, a broadsheet reader is expected to be more educated, of a higher socio-economic group and take interest in business and international related affairs. Therefore, the layout and language change to suit the reader. The layout is similar in both papers in the sense they both use pictures and columns. However, The Sun’ chooses to put the story on the front-page and presents it on a larger scale. Language is more technical in the broadsheet and has been used only to inform. The Sun’ is biased towards Sarah Payne and her family and uses a less informing tone unlike broadsheets. A particular message is also apparent in The Sun’. In my opinion, both types of newspapers have successfully satisfied their aims.
Since these articles were written, Sarah Payne has been found murdered close to where she lived. The kidnapper is still at large and the search for him has commenced. Tougher legislation on paedophiles has been discussed as riots broke out. However, nothing affective