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'Disaster in the Alps'- To compare the way three news publications, The Times, The Mirror and Newsweek, an American weekly news magazine, reported the same incident.

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Assignment Title: 'Disaster in the Alps'- To compare the way three news publications, The Times, The Mirror and Newsweek, an American weekly news magazine, reported the same incident. In my essay, I shall compare the way in which three news publications, The Mirror, an example of the popular press, The Times, an example of the quality press and Newsweek, an American publication reported the same incident. Using these three reports, I shall compare the variations and similarities in the amount of factual information given, the interviews used, the language employed and finally, the layout and presentation of the various articles. On the 3rd of February 1998, a U.S. military jet sliced the wire of a cable car in the Italian ski resort in the Dolomites in Cavalese. This resulted in the untimely death of 20 tourists and, as suggested by Newsweek, led to increasing doubt over America's reputation and conduct, as well as queries over the regulations of low flying. The primary differences are that the two British publications, The Mirror and The Times, contained articles that were published one day after the disaster, on the 4th February 1998, whereas in Newsweek, the article was published 13 days, almost two weeks later. This was because the purpose of the article in Newsweek differed to that of The Mirror and The Times. The Times and The Mirror contrast in style and this is accomplished in numerous ways. For example, The Mirror, a tabloid paper, and a popular press, include headlines, which are colloquial, emotional and bold. Its main objective is to describe and narrate in a moving and often hyperbolic manner. Also, the text is generally short with simple graphics and subheadings. Furthermore, there is usually use of alliteration to produce drama and memorability. In contrast, in The Times, the features are much more informative rather than emotive or sensational. The tone is much more factual and is not as colloquial as popular press. ...read more.


This is achieved through the fact that "griped", which suggests moaning and complaining, sounds as though the villagers are whinging. Therefore, the readership would most probably not be convinced with their arguments against low flying in the Dolomites. Additionally, the word "crime," in the second paragraph, is used to show that the incident was accidental and by no means intentional. However, the word "crime" still implies that someone, possibly the pilots, may have broken the law. This makes "crime" a very loaded word, as there are numerous images associated with it. In particular, the third paragraph emphasises how bad the problem of low flying really is. The paragraph tries to extricate the readers' sympathy and create an emotional response through use of words including "cried" and "terrified" and phrases such as "caused at least one miscarriage" and "prompted thousands of complaints." In contrast to the other two articles, The Times used technical language to describe the capabilities of the aircraft involved in the incident. All three articles made use of interviews, but the manner in which they were used differed; For example in The Mirror, a British couple, Neil Harmar and his girlfriend, Stacey O'Donnell, gave a lengthy interview and informed us that they "missed the second car by minutes." They said that "all hell let loose" and stated that they were "shook up." Furthermore, they described the village as being in a state of "complete pandemonium." The couple reiterated how thankful they were that they "missed that car," and the fact that they were "incredibly lucky to be alive." Even though the British couple did not provide a lot of information about the incident itself, they did help to describe the atmosphere and their feelings on the situation. The British couple were interviewed primarily because of the fact that they were British; the target audience of this British paper are British people, therefore, the majority of people would be interested in hearing about events concerning British citizens. ...read more.


Additionally, The Mirror and Newsweek contained other presentational devices; The Mirror contained a pulled quote (a quote which had been extracted from the main text to catch the readership's attention) and Newsweek made use of various lines to separate certain headings from the other. The pulled quote helped to attract attention and highlight an important feature. In my opinion, The Mirror's report suggested the full horror of the incident most effectively. This was because of its eye-catching headlines & graphics, and also, the emotive and dramatic language, which recaptured the incident in your mind. I also believe that The Times report was quite effective as it contained many details, which the other two articles did not. This helped to make the incident easier to understand and much more informative to read. I also felt that Newsweek was an effective article as it reported the incident from a perspective, which the other two articles did not really consider. This helped me to see things from a wider standpoint. This was achieved thorough the various interviews, particularly interviews about incidents not directly linked to the accident in the Alps. Additionally, the styles and nationalities of the reports also contributed to the differences in the manner in which the article considered the cause of the tragedy and the reasons for it. For example, the American publication, Newsweek, downplayed the incident as many considered it to be America's fault. Therefore, they attempted to divert the attention away from them by suggesting that the Italians also regularly participated in low flying, making Italy's complaints unjustified. Additionally, many Italians interviewed were adamant that it was carelessness on America's part that caused the incident. The British articles did not provide many explanations or consider cases, but at the same time, they were biased, as they suggested that the incident was a result of America's recklessness, and not linked to Italian procedures. All three articles were effective in their own style and considered various aspects, which the articles could not have done individually. This all helped in making the articles informative and accessible. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 1 ...read more.

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