Comparison of two texts on the Shetland oil disaster.

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Comparison of two texts on the Shetland oil disaster.

        The two texts I am going to compare are both about the Shetland oil disaster. One of the texts I am going to be looking at is an article from The Daily Mail newspaper, the other is a fact sheet from the WWF.  They both describe the same event though very differently. The event they describe is an oil spillage that took place on the fifth of January 1993 on Garth Ness, Quendale Bay, on the southern end of the Shetland Islands. The MV Braer a Liberian registered oil tanker spilled its contents of 84,500 tonnes of light crude oil and hundreds of tonnes of fuel oil onto the marine environment.

The article in The Daily Mail newspaper gives a clearly biased view on the event.  The language used in the text makes it sound very one sided and as if it is trying to make it sound as if it is not the fault of the oil tanker or company behind it and nature fought back ‘handsomely’. By doing this it makes people feel less guilty about what they have done to nature.

The fact sheet from the WWF gives a more biased approach towards nature. It makes humans sound grotesque and cruel because of what they have done to nature.  The language used in this is trying to inspire people to help.

        The way the articles are presented also plays a major part in the impression given to the reader. The articles are presented in fairly similar ways.  The presentational devices used in the daily mail article include columns, pictures, captions, bold writing, headings and underlining.  Columns are used in most newspapers because they split the writing up making it easier for the reader to read and make the text look more neatly laid out.  Pictures are used to illustrate the point the author is trying to make and back them up.  It also makes the article look more interesting and appealing to the reader. Captions are used underneath the pictures to make the reader more informed of the meaning of the pictures and to describe what is being shown in them. Bold text and underlining are used to highlight key points and important words or phrases written in the article.  An example of a key point that is being highlighted is ‘the tide turned…the winds blew. It was a triumph over mans folly.’ The headings used in this article are to grab the reader’s attention.  These are often very powerful words or phrases e.g. ‘Mother nature fights back.’

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        The WWF sheet uses similar presentational devices to those used in the daily Mail article but it also uses some different ones.  It uses headings, a logo, sub headings, summaries, bold print and columns.  The logo appears at the top of the page so that the person who reads it can tell who wrote it before reading it all the way through.  Sub headings are used to split the writing up and so that the reader can see what each section is about and whether or not to read it.  Summaries are used to sum up what is being discussed ...

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