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Jack the ripper - Source A is an extract from the 'East End Observer'. It is an extract from an article in the newspaper describing the murders of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls.

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1st Draft J the R coursework Source A is an extract from the 'East End Observer'. It is an extract from an article in the newspaper describing the murders of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls. I use describe in the loosest possible sense, as to describe is not the motivation for which it was written. Any newspaper is intended not only to inform, but for entertainment purposes. Journalists will always try to glamorize and strongly exaggerate and event of intrigue and suspense, in order to instill panic in the reader. Rumour will quickly spread, and in the hysteria, people want to be informed, and newspapers sell in abundant numbers; greatly more than before. In pursuit of this, journalists may lie or cautiously omit details. With this in mind, it is fair to say that the reliability of this source is thusly compromised. Also what is missing from the source is a date, so we do not know how recently it was written, with respect to the two murders of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls, although it is a logical assumption ...read more.


The murder of Polly Nicholls was much more methodical, carrying with it all of the typical Jack The Ripper hallmarks; Deep 'Ripping' of the throat and the removal of some organs. This shows that the newspaper had not considered any of these factors, or that perhaps they had not even seen these facts, and therefore made their presumptions without considering that they may be incorrect. This again makes the source seem even more unreliable. Notwithstanding the obvious question mark on the reliability of this source, we can still gain some details about the murders of Martha Tabram and Polly Nicholls, and the circumstances that surround them. The extract opens with: 'The two murders which have so startled London within the last month' This states very plainly some highly important details; the incident, the reaction and a vague time. In doing so however, it infers much more. In referring to the murders as a collective - 'the two murders', it subtly links the murders together as being done by one person, as is reinforced later on in the source in saying, 'both crimes are the work of a demented being'. ...read more.


The source puts strong emphasis on the levels of brutality in the murders, stating that there was an, 'excess of effort apparent in each murder' and there was, 'extraordinary violence', which again, is to invoke feelings of dread in the reader to make them buy more papers, because back in 1888, there was no television news bulletins, which is the way we usually get information about such incidents. The only way to be informed of something was to read in the paper, and this caused the journalist's word to be held as paramount, so they could get away with tweaking details here or there. There are considerably more details neglected in this source than that that is provided. It doesn't tell us dates, times, exact whereabouts, similarities and differences in injuries, possible weapons, age, family situation, marital status, who discovered the body or the police's reaction to the murders, not-to-mention a whole host of other necessary or at least useful factual information. All in all, this source delivers a few handy snippets of information, but it is used to persuade, not to inform, almost as propaganda. It is mostly conjecture, and therefore, should not be trusted. ...read more.

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