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A Comparison of Two Newspaper Articles - September 11th

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Introduction

A Comparison of Two Newspaper Articles In this essay I will contrast a pair of articles from two different English papers, The Times and The Mirror. These articles were published on 12th September 2001, the day after the terrorist atrocities hit America, so had a huge amount of influence and needed to provide the reader with as much information and explanations as possible, as this was a very confused time for everyone. The Times is a broadsheet paper, that is to say a larger paper of about 'A2' size, and The Mirror is a tabloid, a smaller 'A3' size paper. Their sizes are not their only differences though. Broadsheets and tabloids are aimed at different markets and therefore have very different manners of writing. The Times is expected to be bought by middle-class persons with a reasonable income and who are well educated. The Mirror however aims at the working class people who may not be as intellectual as 'Times' readers and who possibly have a lower income. Therefore the articles will vary in their style, presentation, structure and details according to who is expected to read them. One only needs look at the headlines to have this confirmed. The Times 'Bloody Echoes of Pearl Harbour' title works on many levels and expects a certain level of understanding from the reader, whereas The Mirror's 'WE ARE ALL F***ING DYING IN HERE' only has a level of shock. ...read more.

Middle

But The Mirror just gives a graphic description using emotive language such as 'plunge' and 'certain death' to have an effect on those who see the image. When we look at the structure of the pieces, we see many major differences between tabloids and broadsheets. One obvious difference is the layout of the articles. The Mirror uses short columns and lots of paragraphs so as not to intimidate the reader who may be daunted by a long piece, however The Times has long columns to include as much as possible, which its more educated readership would not have a problem with. When we look at the actual pieces, there are also many glaring differences between the two. The Times uses much information throughout, for example telling the reader of the mobilisation of anti-terrorist units being deployed in various areas, and slowly builds up towards a painful scene at the end of destruction and pain, whereas The Mirror is very similar throughout, constantly quoting people who say roughly the same thing from the beginning of the piece to the end. For instance, at least three people tell of the panic or screaming of the crowd. Furthermore, The Times uses long, complex sentences, like, 'An hour later, with countless people still trapped inside and rescue workers surrounding the buildings first one tower collapsed and then, half an hour later, the other disintegrated into rubble.' ...read more.

Conclusion

How? Why? Yet The Mirror is only interested in describing the catastrophe and only gives the reader a very thin perspective on what was happening, leaving many questions unanswered. A final difference is the emotive language used in the Mirror and the sophisticated language used in The Times. In the tabloid, words such as 'engulfed' and 'clamoured' are used, trying to evoke the feelings in the readers that the paper wants you to have, and not giving a neutral view, which allows the reader to decide on what their opinion is. The Times, however, uses sophisticated language like 'vulnerability' and 'solidarity' to give a clear view of what is going on and to allow the reader to form their own attitudes to the events. Having looked at both articles in detail, I prefer The Times' informative and descriptive piece rather than The Mirror's narrow-minded, influential article. When you read The Times' item you get a clear sense of what is going on, you hear from many sources, each with a great deal of significance, and you are able to form a calculated opinion from it. The Mirror's, though, is short, only covers a very limited spectrum, tries to influence your opinion, and is not at all thought provoking. Having said this, if you are looking for an easy-going piece of reading with which you can get a reasonable understanding of the situation, The Mirror will perfectly fulfil your need. ...read more.

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