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The “flesh-eating bug” story. A comparison of two different newspaper stories.

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Introduction

The "flesh-eating bug" story. A comparison of two different newspaper stories. Introduction I will compare two 1994 accounts of a "flesh-eating bug" story from two different newspapers; one account from a tabloid newspaper, and one from a broadsheet newspaper. The newspapers that I am going to use for this comparison are The Daily Mirror, and The Times. The tone of the two news stories differs, as does the vocabulary used to describe events and facts. The two stories demonstrate varied uses of syntax, the punctuation also differing. The vocabulary and terminology are different in the two articles due to widely different purposes. However the stories use quotations from witnesses in similar ways although the witnesses themselves are different. The manner in which the newspapers use and present facts is quite similar however there are a few differences, which I will be discussing. I also aim to compare the ways in which language is used in order to create a mood/fulfill the aims of the writers, and I will talk about the ways in which the broadsheet newspaper portrays the tabloids methods of presentation and use of language. In the first sentence of the tabloid article, the writer engages the reader's interest straight away, and this encourages them to continue reading. ...read more.

Middle

The title of this article is much less shocking than the title of the tabloid story. The bold font is still used, but it is not as large, and there is no use of additional presentational features to catch the attention of the readers, for example a strapline. Therefore the article contains more text, and is more informative. As a result of simply investigating the presentational devices of the stories, we can see that the aims of the two newspapers are very different. The broadsheet news story has a much more discursive attitude when compared to The Daily Mirror. The times uses longer, more complex sentences, and also more mature vocabulary throughout the article. throughout the article. The mirror makes constant use of short sentences in order to gain attention, and does not use complicated language. In an attempt to persuade the readers that the story is accurate, the writer of the tabloid article uses quotations from witnesses who are referred to by impressive titles, such as "Dr. Keith Cartwright, head of Gloucestershire's public health laboratories". The readers are more likely to believe the shocking account, as it is backed up by witnesses who have a wide knowledge of the subject. ...read more.

Conclusion

This could make readers worry and become uneasy, which is precisely the effect that the writer is aiming for. The writer of the tabloid article personifies the bacteria with the use of words like "bug killed", "devoured", and "bug feeds". The writer also exaggerates the bug's speed and size, with use of hyperbolic language such as "devours inches of body fat an hour", and "killer bug". This language is used because the writer's aim is to shock the readers, and to strike fear into them. The main aim of both of the newspapers is obviously to sell copy. The writer of the tabloid article uses hyperbolic language such as "killer bug". This language is used because the tabloid's purpose is to shock the readers, and to strike fear into them. Also, the writer creates a story which is gruesome, and which implies that the bug is rare. This appeals to the morbid curiosity evident in human nature. The reader is engaged by the story, and the aim is that therefore more sales of the newspaper will be generated. In contrast, the broadsheet uses an informative and reassuring tone in order to restore the reader's confidence and improve their understanding regarding the bug. The broadsheet newspaper makes use of more intellectual vocabulary in order to convert the reader to their way of looking at the story. ...read more.

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