A comparative analysis of 'The Sun' a tabloid newspaper and 'The Guardian' a broadsheet newspaper.
Newspapers are a form of communication and words and photographs can be used very powerfully. New stories attract your attention and styles of writing / reporting is used as an effective device. The media use these devices each and every day.
An article they have read in a newspaper has at sometime influenced everyone. However, it is important that you realise you are being influenced and how this is being achieved. Just by purchasing either ‘The Sun’ or ‘The Guardian’ to read is the most influential decision you do!
This media assignment is a comparative analysis of ‘The Sun’ a tabloid newspaper and ‘The Guardian’ a broadsheet newspaper. The front pages will be compared, as will be a news story and also the editorials from both editions.
‘The Sun’ Tuesday, March 18 2003.
‘The Guardian’ Tuesday, March 18 2003.
The visual presentation in both front pages of ‘The Sun’ and ‘The Guardian’ play a very important role. ‘The Sun’ has used the front page as a presentational device; this is representative of the journalism in ‘The Sun’. The whole of the front page is dedicated to the image of a group of soldiers in action; with the headline ‘Green light for War’ which is echoed by the whole of the front page tinted in green, which is the apparent view through a soldiers night vision binoculars. This relates well to the article itself; it communicates to its readers without having to first read the text. The use of the colour green and the headline ‘Green light…’ is almost a metaphor; it suggests to the reader that war is forth coming and at hand. These are stylistic choices made to appeal to readers and are eye-catching. Also the main information needed is contained within the headline.
Within the text on ‘The Suns’ front-page one sentence is represented as one paragraph this is to allow the readers eye to travel to points and draw the image and the text together. The style of writing adopted has a bearing on the theatrical; ‘In the ghostly green light……….stealthily towards’ plus the use of bold text adds to the effect. The structures of the sentences are very simple, abstract and condensed easy for the reader to digest. The tone of the piece is informal, a technique to make it easier for the assumed audience to read.
In contrast to ‘The Suns’ front page ‘The Guardian’ has many glaring differences between the two. ‘The Guardian’ uses much more information throughout. By comparison the images used in ‘The Guardian’ of Robin Cook MP and President Bush are also important national and international events as Bush is seen looking very solemn and serious seated at his desk. It seems that ‘The Guardian’ is trying to strike a chord with the reader by including above the photograph of Bush a sub heading; ‘Bush throws down gauntlet to Saddam: Go into exile with your top men or face massive invasion’. Whilst not overdoing it to seem patronising, a well-fixed balance seems to have been found – the image reflects the sub heading. The photograph of Robin Cook and sub heading balances out the layout of the front page it looks neat and methodical.
This is a preview of the whole essay
‘The Guardians’ choice of text and language differs greatly to ‘The Sun’ the style is also abstract but uses literary angle ‘History will be astonished at the diplomatic miscalculations’. This indicates that the people who read this newspaper have a higher level of education, as this paper is more difficult to understand. ‘The Guardian’ uses long, complex sentences this once again indicates a reasonable level of intelligence expected from the readership.
Statistics are used in ‘The Guardian’ to prove several points this is used as evidence for the sub heading ‘ Support for attack jumps, but opposition still in majority.’ It helps the reader understand the neutral reporting by stating the statistics the article is laying out the information for the reader to absorb.
All three articles on the front page of ‘The Guardian’ use direct speech; in total contrast ‘The Sun’ does not supply any direct speech on its front page. This is not the only difference between the two newspapers the content is completely different. The different audiences at which the papers are aimed are apparently much more in the content and language of the two newspapers than any other factors affecting them.
‘The Sun’ Thursday, March 13 2003: Tarrant: I like to make them sweat.
‘The Guardian’ Thursday, March 13 2003: Judge provides lifeline as Tarrant fails to answer barristers opening question.
Both newstories are visual both have a photograph of the TV celebrity Chris Tarrant. One of the effective differences is ‘The Sun’ uses colour photograph and ‘The Guardian’ has gone for the black and white option. This is influential towards the audience colour is communicable and catches the attention of the reader. Plus ‘The Sun’ has devoted two pages to the story albeit one page is dedicated to photographs and a sketch of inside the court.
‘The Guardian’ is quite restrained and formal concerning the current trial involving TV’s Chris Tarrant and Major Ingram and his alleged cheating on the popular TV game show. Considering the popularity and interest in the case ‘The Guardian’ does not sensationalise or dramatise the reporting in its article. It is an objective piece of journalism giving the reader a balanced point of view, it is there to inform only.
In comparison ‘The Sun’is not concerned with serious public interest, but only with what entertains the intended reader and therefore it sees its readers as enjoying celebrity news / scandal. All journalism is there to elicit a response from the reader. The article in ‘The Sun’ creates an atmosphere of amusement. Spread across the top of the two pages like a mini-headline that reads ‘Millionaire courtroom in stitches as game show host takes witness box’ this is intended to make the story sound more amusing and an added factor is the over large photograph of the jovial Chris Tarrant; this only reinforces what ‘The Sun’ thinks its audience wants to see.
‘The Guardian’ uses articulate language throughout; the sentences are longer and structured and are also approached in a formal manner. There is no striking headline instead this article has a smaller lower case text, and is located on the middle of the second page of ‘The Guardian’. Furthermore there is no use of ‘puns’, ‘clichés’ or ‘jokes’ to cheapen the article. The way, in which the article is written provides more evidence, it is a conservative style of journalism this appeals to an intellectually wider audience.
Whereas ‘The Sun’ reports a similar story throughout, but its use of language is distinctive to tabloid newspapers. By using monosyllabic style ‘The Sun’ creates easy reading most paragraphs are short bursts theses are designed to keep the readers attention. ‘The Sun’ also uses a form of pyramid journalism, they put the ‘juicy’ news first as many readers don’t read more than the first couple of paragraphs this is stereotypical of tabloid newspapers. The main headline ‘Tarrant: I like to make them sweat’ is an excellent example of journalise; its cliché ridden which is characteristic of ‘The Sun’.
Once again in ‘The Sun’ one sentence is equal to one paragraph. The opening paragraph is bold and in lower case text and is a simple explanation to the reader about the main headline. From the opening paragraph and into the sixth paragraph the text has changed four times from bold to italic text, the purpose of this is to keep the reader attentive and engaged.
The sketch in ‘The Sun’ in which Chris Tarrant looks like he’s being questioned by the prosecutor, has text below quote ‘Final answer?’ is a splendid example of the use of a cliché / pun, as it makes reference to Chris Tarrants TV game show.
The readers of ‘The Guardian’ are more likely to be scholarly as much of the language that ‘The Guardian’ uses is academic, such as its use of polysyllabic text: ‘impassionate, strategically, specifically, steepled and persona’ are examples of this type of language which is used in the article. It crates a more accurate coverage and reporting of this particular news story, which is apparently how the readers of ‘The Guardian’ prefer their newspaper to report, more focus on the facts than entertainment.
‘The Sun Says’ Thursday, March 13 2003: Only the right way remains.
‘Comment & Analysis – The Guardian’ Tuesday, March 18 2003: Left behind to starve.
The editorials from both ‘The Sun’ and ‘The Guardian’ have corresponding themes – war. How they contrast greatly is all down to the content and style of each article. At present the threat of war hangs heavily around the world if not more so in the UK. How each newspaper responds co-insides with its intended audience and how they are expected to respond.
‘The Suns’ editorial has a bold underlined heading ‘Only the right way remains.’ What is the editor implying here? Is there no other way, have we no other choice? This type of journalism is impressionable, eliciting an emotional response from the reader. The use of bold lower case text and then a short, three-word sentence followed by a four-word sentence is a clever grammatical and punctuation style of journalism, it make the reading of the article more dramatic and powerful.
Puns, clichés and sensationalised text flow throughout this editorial, the UN are seen as ‘minnows’ and ‘small fry’, people are ‘dangerous dictators’, President Chirac displays ‘arrogance and greed’’. All these styles are designed to influence the audience into the editor’s way of thinking. The opening paragraph is more of a statement than a piece of journalism; the editor is trying to play on the emotional side of the reader.
What becomes apparent throughout is the patriotism shown, is the editor trying to play on the readers conscience? Possibly to sway their views and opinions? Stylistic methods and the use of hyperbolic text like: ‘ That is the measure of Blair’s courage and determination’ which does seem a deliberate overstatement; added to the fact the text is bold and underlined – is this for confirmation?
Half way through the editorial ‘The Sun’ quotes Blair on his tough stance: ‘It’s best to work out what the right thing is – and do it’. The use of monosyllabic language doesn’t co-inside really with Blair’s supposedly tough stance; it’s not much of a powerful quote! The simple use of language makes it not too complicated for the reader to perceive.
In stark contrast to ‘The Sun Says’, ‘The Guardian’ takes a different side to the ‘inevitable war’. This article takes a more poignant look at the effects of war and is entitled ‘left behind to stave’. From the headline and minimalist fashion of drawing the audience is exposed to an emotive style of journalism.
In the first paragraph the reader is prepared for the oncoming purpose of this editorial. The first paragraph almost preps the reader ‘ Citizens would demand that their governments spend as much on humanitarian aid as they spend on developing new means of killing people.’ This is straight and to the point writing and also it is a very emotional style.
The amount of space that this editorial is given [estimate 1000 words] is a representation on how it feels the importance of this story is needs to be told. The disclosure throughout from the amount the US will spend [$12bn] on the war, to Burundi, which is officially the third poorest nation on earth, is poignant and also emotionally striking. It is an article that exposes another side to war that many people would not have contrived.
‘The Guardian’ carries throughout it this editorial the use of academic language ‘disproportional, institutional collapse, consolidated appeal, unprecedented and uninhabitable’ this is what makes ‘The Guardian’ is serious and educational newspaper.
‘The Guardian’ discusses the logical and realistic effects around the world, whereas ‘The Sun’ is not open for debate. This can be seen in the choice of language, it is churlish ‘Treachery of France’ ‘ Small fry at the UN’ ‘America, the mightiest nation on earth’ It is a typical device ‘The Sun’ uses to win over the reader. ‘The Guardian’ on the other hand lays down an argument and then explores it; sees the problems and evidence, then puts the factual data in for the reader to reflect and to consider.
‘The Guardian’ has produced a convincing and statistical article that appeals to the readers’ moral stance rather than ‘The Suns’ political powers of irrational thinking. The final closing paragraph [bold & underlined] of ‘The Sun Says’ has Tony Blair ‘cemented in history’ is the reader to assume he is heroic and legendary, ‘The Sun’ presumes so. ‘The Guardian’ concludes with an ethical paragraph and cleverly uses a personal pronoun - ‘we’, this accomplishes the objective to sound more real – which it is.