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Comparing an article from “The Mail on Sunday” and a leaflet from “Shelter” about the issue of homelessness.

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Introduction

Comparing an article from "The Mail on Sunday" and a leaflet from "Shelter" about the issue of homelessness. What opinions do people have about homelessness? Is it like that of the journalist writing for the "Mail on Sunday", or does it correspond more with that of fundraisers "Shelter"? This essay will compare and contrast the opinions of "Is he keeping the tourists away?" and "Five faces of homelessness". The anonymous journalist who is writing for "The Mail on Sunday" has the opposite attitude to the homeless charity "Shelter". The journalist and the people interviewed agree with each other and say that homelessness is not society's problem to sort out. He or she also gives the impression that homeless people are vermin and that it is their own fault that they have nowhere to live. ".... Hounded by a plague of new beggars" - Line 13 The word "plague" suggests a link to the Black Death that involved rats, also known as vermin, who scavenge and steal from people. The journalist does not seem to understand that homeless people do not choose to be homeless and the charity, "Shelter" explains the truth about homelessness. Again, as in the newspaper article, we are not told the name of the author in the "Shelter" leaflet piece. The attitudes coming across from "Shelter" are those of sympathy and support. Their aim is to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness and defend those involved. The leaflet is also more about the facts, rather than about people's opinions. ...read more.

Middle

"People sleeping rough are scroungers - they don't want to work. Most people who beg do so as a last resort..." - Point 1 I think that this "Shelter" article could make people feel quite guilty. It tells of the horrific things that can happen to people who sleep on the streets and make people wonder what it would feel like if it were their life, not somebody else's. "...Women who sleep out are at greater risk of sexual assault and rape" - Point 3 The columnist for "The Mail on Sunday" seems to assume that the audience agrees with him or her. No alternative opinion is offered, in his or her opinion, homeless people are all beggars and cannot be differentiated against. The reporter reinforces their prejudice against the homeless by emphasising alarming facts about the few that become beggars. "...Who have frightened, intimidated or harassed visitors". - Line 77 The "Shelter" article is far more "reader-friendly", in that bullet points are used which makes it easier to read and digest. Text is segregated to allow the eye to travel to important facts and pictures are also used to draw attention to the plight of the homeless. Also, a cynic is created to give the writing a sense of personality and to involve the reader further into the issue. To persuade readers that Britain's tourist industry is being damaged, the journalist uses imagery and lexis, which portray the homeless as vermin. He or she writes about tourist centers being "hounded by a new plague", a clear reference to the time when rats brought the Black Death to Britain. ...read more.

Conclusion

The main picture is of a man sitting on the floor holding a cup for money collection. Around him are four smaller images showing British heritage and the title "Is he keeping the tourists away" is a reference to the block of images. The two pieces are both laid out in columns and use captions to emphasise a main point in the article. Boxes of information are used in the "Shelter" leaflet and the layout is more informal and varied than that of a newspaper article. The leaflet is more attractive to look at and to read whereas the newspaper looks long and complex, and in some respects, boring. The newspaper piece tries to inform about where beggars are and what they do, but the main purpose is to persuade the readers into agreeing with the journalist's opinion. The article is unfair towards beggars and giving them a "cheating" reputation and not treating them like human beings. In my opinion however, I think that the article is biased towards people in authority who seem to be heartless but the article works extremely well as a persuasive piece as a result of the metaphors and repetition used. The "Shelter" leaflet is successful as an informative article and it knocks down views of the opposition. The writers have tried to balance out opinions and have written in an upfront, informative manner. Overall, both pieces are successful in their purposes. They both have completely different aims and perhaps audiences. These articles were interesting to contrast as they were coming from different political views and ideas, which contradicted against each other. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sophie Gullon 10AE Media Essay comparing Homelessness articles May 2002 1 ...read more.

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