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Media Coursework: A comparison of The Times and The Sun

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Introduction

Media Coursework: A comparison of The Times and The Sun By C.Keaveny I have taken The Sun and The Time from Monday 12th February 2001, and I am going to analyse and compare the two papers by looking at their respective front page in detail and briefly looking at how the two papers treat the same story differently. I will be looking at the way each paper is presented, what their aim is and how they try to achieve this, as well as what angle the papers chose to report from. Firstly, I am going to look at the front page of The Times. The Times is a "broadsheet" newspaper, which means that it will probably conform to certain criteria. These are the target audience, the way the paper is presented, what stories they cover and how they are covered and the language they use. The Times is aimed mainly at upper-middle/upper class readers and this is reflected in almost every aspect of the paper. The paper is usually sold folded in half due to its size, and therefore they usually include a large colour photograph in the top half, and use a coloured border to attract readers. On this day there is a very large, and very bright red and orange photo of Ellen MacArthur, and a large blue and red block across the top.

Middle

The text is full of puns such as "Second Front" (in reference to it being the second girl to pose topless), "Corps Blimey" and the opening sentence, "Our snaps of fighting fit Melanie Cotton, 27, are sure to send shell-shocked top brass diving for cover." These are all examples of how The Sun carries articles that have no content or point in and are there purely to pull in readers who want to see some topless women. This is a good way of building up sales, but not for securing long-term success or respect. The large pictures on the front will also attract readers and may encourage some to look further into the paper, some to see if they actually have any news in there. The layout of the paper does not appear to have been that well thought out and the advert for a football magazine appears to have been dumped on the rest of the page and doesn't fit in. There is actually very little to analyse on this front page and this is an interesting fact. The Times can find stories about the economy, education, and science and even have space for a human-interest story, whereas The Sun does not seem to be able to find any stories it considers more important than women taking off their clothes.

Conclusion

Secondly and equally as important, there was not much news from the previous 24 hours and they have to fill their paper with the other news that might have been lower down the priority scale if there ha been a major event in the last day. The article takes up the entire page apart form a bright yellow advert in the bottom right corner for mortgage and financial advice. The focal point of the page though is the picture of MacArthur celebrating with her parents. This provides a base for the story and if someone quickly opens the paper and sees this picture they may be more tempted to but the paper. In conclusion we can see that The Times has carried more information on it front page, which is presented in an orderly and well set out fashion. They have chosen the stories, which they think, will appeal most to their readers, and these are important issues such as education and politics. They have used a picture to attract readers and also a lottery, "get rich quick" game scheme for the same purpose. The Sun in comparison have not set out their page well, they do not actually have one actual piece of news on the front page. The first few pages contained no actual news, and most of the stories they covered did not appear in any detail in The Times.

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