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Comparing news reports - 'Disaster in the Alps'

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Introduction

Media Unit Alex Hill 10I Comparing news reports - 'Disaster in the Alps' On the 3rd of February 1998 twenty people were killed as result of an American aircraft cutting through the wire of their cable car high up in the Cermis mountain in northern Italy. I will be viewing three articles which reported on this incident. Two of the newspapers are British and are 'The Times' and 'The Mirror', both newspapers published the article a day after the incident occurred. The third newspaper I will be looking at is 'Newsweek', and American newspaper which published the article on the 16th of February 1998, thirteen days after the disaster. This time difference that the American newspaper has with the British newspapers suggests that the U.S military carried out a full investigation of the accident before releasing information. The major difference between the three newspapers is that both British newspapers heavily use illustrations to display the incident and its devastation, 'Newsweek' uses none. '20 die in cable car after jet cuts through wire', this quote from 'The Times' is not bias and is factual. It outlines exactly what has happened and doesn't look for a party to blame, it gives the readers the basis of knowledge about the incident. ...read more.

Middle

'Newsweek' use very calm language to describe the incident and their description of events doesn't justify the terror unleashed accidental of not by the U.S warplane. They use the word 'tumbling' as if the cable car was a toy. Newsweek makes out that Europe is questioning Americas character, they show national paranoia. The language they use throughout the article is adding to 'Newsweek's' objective which is to try and dilute the blame. The mirror concentrates on what happened to Neil Harmer and his girlfriend Stacey O'Donnell, two British holiday makers who were at the resort during the accident. The article returns to them repeatedly throughout, this gives the article a more British taste, showing how luckily they narrowly missed getting on that lift. As well as quotes from them there are also quotes from regional president Carlo Anderotti, a fire services spokesman and Christina Antoiazzi; owner of the Hotel Locanda La Cascata, which is situated just 100 yards from the cable car lines. The Times concentrates more on information given from government officials, such as Massimo Brutti, the deputy defence minister, as well as having quotes from the Pentagon and search and rescue workers. The fact that the excerpts used in this article are from more official sources gives the report a much more formal feeling. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both 'The Mirror' and 'The Times's' pictures are bold and black and white showing the harsh reality. In the top left hand corner of the article 'The Mirror' have circled a picture to isolate it, it enables the readers to see the contrast between both pictures; before and after. The illustration with the plane shows all information briefly. The headline emphasises the dramatic event, '20 skiers killed as jet slices cable car wire' the word killed shocks the reader as soon as he/she looks at the article. The headline is monosyllabic which allows the reader to digest the information easily. 'Newsweek's' headline 'Blood on the snow' does not indicate what has happened, its a detail about the event. They approach the article with a more formal layout and include no illustrations. The article is under the 'world affairs' section of the newspaper and does not seem of much concern that 'Newsweek' makes sure many people know what has happened. Although 'The Mirror' portrays the accident well I feel they commercialised it too much and used too much opinionated text. Therefore I feel that 'The Times' was the article that reported on the incident most effectively. It achieves this effectiveness by using informative text and also with the use of illustrations the read can visualise what they are reading about. 'Newsweek' is suggesting that the Europeans dislike the Americans and the British newspapers look at the event with an intention of blaming someone. ...read more.

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