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Media Course work: The Times and The Daily Star's Coverage of the Ian Huntley Conviction

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Media Course work: The Times and The Daily Star’s Coverage of the Ian Huntley Conviction

For my Media coursework I have chosen to study and compare The Times and The DailyStar. I purchased these papers on Thursday December 18th 2003. The story is covered on both front pages and then continues into the inside. It is about Ian Huntley being found guilty of murdering Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells. Both newspapers have articles on how the parents felt, what happened in the trial and how the people of Soham feel.

The Times is a broadsheet newspaper and is aimed at social groups A, B and C1. These social groups include Lawyers, doctors, accountants, teachers, nurses, police officers, clerical workers and people in other skilled jobs. The Times has a more extensive coverage and longer articles than the Daily Star. The Daily Star aims at social groups C2, D and E. these are plumbers, mechanics, lorry drivers, postal workers, the unemployed and casual workers. It has a bolder layout and the articles are shorter than the Times.

In the Daily Star it calls Ian Huntley “ Evil child sex fiend”, “sex beast” and “killer is caged at last”. This shows open disgust about Ian Huntley and they are comparing his actions to that of a monster. The Daily Star reports on gossip, sex and what the celebrities are up to.

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Daily Star, which try to have a bolder layout. By having more photographs the Daily Star can capture the readers attention and make it visually exciting. The Times has additional coverage of the story so photographs are not so vital as it is all explained in the text. The Daily Star has pictures of the evidence and of Huntley’s bedroom. This shows the reader how Ian Huntley tried to hide the evidence and what he was doing in police custody. The Times has pictures of floral tributes and just a few of Ian Huntley, Maxine Carr and the family.

The Times has a menu on the first page this is called a “puff” or “blurb”. It advertises the content in the paper that might interest the reader. The Daily Star has a small puff but unlike the Times it does not summarise the content of the articles. The Daily Star uses quotations, for example; “Jess’s Dad: I want Huntley in coffin”. This is dramatic and would appeal to the readers of the Daily Star who are after human feeling and not the facts of the trial. The Times has article involving “New money-laundering regulations” and “More awards for The Times”. So the articles inside are about political and financial matters.

The Daily Star

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The Times, “Ian Huntley is today revealed as a violent sexual predator who should never have been given the job that brought him into contact with Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells.” This first paragraph tells the reader who is involved and what happened. In the Daily Star ‘And’ is a sentence conjunction and it is frequently used as paragraph connectives. Here is an example, “ And as he was led t o the cells the full horror of his perverted life was revealed for the first time.”

I conclude that although there are many differences between The Times and The daily Star, The Times are moving towards including some of the tabloid papers features as it has more human-interest stories in it than ever before. The Times still has a plainer and more restrained layout than the Daily Star that uses colour and photographs to make it visually exciting and hold the readers attention. The editors of both papers try to cram as much information into the first paragraph and headline and few readers carry on reading until the end of the article. The Daily Star uses shorter paragraphs and lengths of articles to hold onto the reader’s attention and to make it simple enough for the reader to understand. The Times gives a neutral approach to what is an emotive story that most people have very strong feeling about.

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