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Explore, analyse and comment on the way the story of the conjoined twins has been reported in some newspapers and on the television news.

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Introduction

Media Coursework Explore, analyse and comment on the way the story of the conjoined twins has been reported in some newspapers and on the television news. In modern day society, the media has considerable command and influence over the public. It can be powerful in both positive and negative ways. Although the media is to be embraced, it is also to be treated with utmost care. The way the media is able to manipulate and shape our ideas is paramount to its power; sometimes to the extent where it does not give us a chance to rationalise our opinions. In my opinion the media has a very important function and has a crucial purpose in society. It can be educational, informative, interesting and entertaining yet, at the same time, the media can be biased, derogatory and sensational. Too often, people take notice, [and are influenced by], only one form of media. This can lead to a polarised point of view and therefore a narrow-minded outlook. These people are totally oblivious to the clever devices certain areas of the media will use to 'con and deceive' them in order to manipulate their train of thought. In this analysis, I will be exploring exactly how the media does this in both newspaper and television broadcast form. I consider both television broadcasts and newspapers to be equally effective overall in their use of presentational devices. There are, however, fundamental differences in the way this is achieved. ...read more.

Middle

Before the condition was truly understood, these people, real human people, were treated like animals, forced to perform in freak shows. It is therefore understandable that Laleh and Laleh Bijani went to these lengths to achieve their dream. This feature is subsequently followed by a simple but very clear three-dimensional animation describing the medical procedure that the twins went through. Although the ITN news is informative to an extent, compared to the BBC, it lacks depth and scientific details. Incidentally though, ITN is the more entertaining of the two news reports. Despite this, the BBC news has, in my opinion, a far more rounded report that simply informs the reader. Unsurprisingly, both reports have the same bare facts but the BBC elaborates on these aspects with a greater depth of detail. For example, the BBC is the only report out of all four reports that has evidence from the twins themselves. They give a press interview where they state their fearlessness. In addition, the way in which the BBC presents how the operation was performed is not as aesthetically pleasing as that of ITN but is realistic and actually refers to scientific principals, whereas the ITN news does not. I think the BBC have done this because the type of people who would watch their broadcast are considered to be genuinely interested in the scientific aspects of the procedure. Perhaps ITN did not go into so much depth because they might want to appeal to a more general audience. ...read more.

Conclusion

As with The Independent, the BBC also utilises a medical ethics expert from the British Medical Association. The surgeon who is interviewed by ITN news changes the whole mood and the tone of the interview by using the word "alas", because this shows that he is, or wants to be, seen as emotionally involved with the twins. Another admirable touch from ITN is that they mention that the relatives of the deceased place no blame upon the doctors. In both sets of interviews, the comments made on the medical teams in particular are relatively complimentary. In addition to this evidence, a German specialist is interviewed and claims that he advised against the operation. He is not able to speak English therefore a voice over translation has been used. This raises questions over its authenticity. Although the main thrust would still be the same, ITN could, potentially, make some subtle changes to emphasise certain points. In conclusion, I think it is quite clear that the each of the four reports fulfil their purpose in every way. They know their target audience and have written their articles and scripts in accordance with this. The purpose of any media is to leave some sort of message with the audience and all four of these do exactly that. The Sun: creates a scandal. The Independent and the BBC: informs. ITN: has a good mix of both. If nothing else, I think that I have learnt that you need to read and / or watch several articles to truly get a sense of the 'absolute' truth ........ [Whatever that is!]. Rob Shuter November 2003 RNS / Media Coursework. Page 1. ...read more.

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