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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 1631

Comparing Broadsheet and Tabloid Newspapers

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Sam Fiske 10Gr         Maths Coursework

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Investigate the hypothesis: people who read broadsheet newspapers are more intelligent than people who read tabloids.

To do this I will break my investigation up into three parts:

  • The general belief is that broadsheet newspapers such as 'The Times' are aimed at the higher earning. More intelligent reader and so, you would expect a higher quality of English used, therefore longer words and sentences. Tabloid newspapers are supposedly aimed at the lower earning, less intelligent reader and so the quality of English used wouldn't be as good as that found in a broadsheet, so the length of words and sentences one would assume would be smaller. To find out whether this is true I will count Roughly 200 words from each paper, 80 words taken from the same news story, 60 from the same sports report and 60 taken from the general section of the newspaper. I will do this to give an even analysis of each newspaper but so that each newspaper is treated like the other, making it fair.
  • Another theory is that people with a higher intelligence than others, read newspapers that have longer sentences. My hypothesis is that tabloid newspapers will have shorter sentences than broadsheets. To find out whether this is true, I will count the sentence length of 190 sentences for a broadsheet and a tabloid newspaper. To make the test fair, I will use more than one article in each newspaper.
  • I think that people with more intelligence will read newspapers that have a higher ratio of writing to illustrations per article. To do collect this data, I will measure the space that a whole article takes up and then measure how much room is given to pictures compared to words in each newspaper. If I’m right, tabloid newspapers will have a higher proportion of pictures to writing than a broadsheet will have.
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Middle

Results (Tabloid)-

Word Length (Letters)

Frequency

 Amount of Letters

1

13

13

2

23

46

3

30

90

4

36

144

5

23

115

6

23

138

7

6

42

8

7

56

9

9

81

10

10

100

11

3

66

12

4

48

13

3

39

Totals

190

978

Average Word Length

5.15

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Inter-quartile Range- 5-2= 3

Well from the results, I can conclude that, if a person is more intelligent than someone because the newspaper has longer words in it, then yes people who read broadsheets are 0.42 of a word more intelligent. The data shows that there are more ‘long’ words in a broadsheet than in a tabloid, but this does not necessarily mean that broadsheet readers are of a higher intelligence? No, to realistically prove that I would need to design a test for a cross section of readers e.g. and IQ test, which isn’t practical. But, having said that, it is fair to say that broadsheet newspapers are aimed at more intelligent people. Even though there is only a 0.37 word length difference, the ideas of the newspapers are contrasting, which maths statistics cannot show.  

Part 2

Another theory is that people with a higher intelligence than others, read newspapers that have longer sentences. My hypothesis is that tabloid newspapers will have shorter sentences than broadsheets.

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Conclusion

“I think that people with more intelligence will read broadsheet newspapers that have a higher ratio of writing to illustrations per article”. Well almost. It does prove that the ratio of writing to illustrations is greater in broadsheets, but like the other hypothesis’ it doesn’t necessarily prove that the people who read the broadsheets are more intelligent. But it doesn’t take into account what the pictures are showing, what story are they linked to, did that newspaper have a certain photographer on the story etc. It just tells us that, on average, there are more pictures in each article in a tabloid than in a broadsheet.

Conclusion

The results of my initial 2 hypotheses disproved my original hypothesis this led me believe that the original hypothesis was wrong but my last set of results threw that into questioning. I can’t fully determine whether broadsheet readers are actually more intelligent than tabloid readers unless I performed some sort of IQ test on a population sample. So I believe none of my evidence can conclusively prove or even disprove the original hypothesis. Data cannot prove whether a group of people are more intelligent than others because of what newspaper they read, it can just tell us about what it is in the paper, and what may indicate that the reader is more intelligent, but not as definite statements.

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