In this assignment I am going to compare two newspapers, a tabloid and a broadsheet, they will be 'The Daily Telegraph' and the 'Sun' where were both published on the 6th of October 1999.
GCSE Media assignment
Kieran Hanby Southmoor 39555
In this assignment I am going to compare two newspapers, a tabloid and a broadsheet, they will be ‘The Daily Telegraph’ and the ‘Sun’ where were both published on the 6th of October 1999. I am going to assess the newspapers on the difference coverage they have on the same story, the ‘Paddington Rail Crash’.
The ‘Paddington Rail Crash’ took place at Ladbroke Grove, West London, in the morning rush hour of October 5th. The crash involved a packed First Great Western HST (High Speed Train) and a Thames Train Class 165 Turbo, which collided after the drive of the turbo inexplicably drove through two yellow ‘warning’ signals, followed by a red ‘danger’ signal. Thirty passengers and crew died and 245 more were injured in a crash that had a combined speed of 120mph. The crash resulted in a huge inferno which is believed to have reached an astonishing 500oC – 600oC which was the main death and injury cause of this crash.
As this occurrence is very rare the newspapers have decided to go well ‘over the top’, for example, the Sun has picture which stretches and covers the whole of the front and back page. This picture consists of one of the carriages surrounded by firemen, two on ladders looking into the carriage and the rest grouped around the bottom of it. The carriage in which the firemen are inspecting is the one that had overturned and caught on fire (the same picture is used on the Telegraph’s front page). In the top right-hand corner of the front page there is a ‘wob’ with reverse print in it, it says:
If you notice this is obviously fiction, the actual figures were not released until a couple of days after and they where 30 killed and 245 injured, so the Sun is doing some guess work here! Also notice how they use the word ‘feared’, this is crafty, as they are not stating that there are actually 35 people actually dead they are saying feared, which implies that there is not necessarily the amount stated dead somewhere around 35!
If you turn over on to the back page it contains the other side of the photo and on the left-hand side of the side of the page there is an article, which is trying to play on the strings of the heart:
“THEY were ordinary people, minutes away from jobs where they worked so hard to provide for their loved ones.”
This is a preview of the whole essay
As you can see this is really untrue and they obviously don’t know that they work and that they are minutes away from their jobs, they could have been in London for the day and could have been on their way home! They also might not have any loved ones, they could be single and their family in Zimbabwe. All this brings me to one conclusion; this newspaper is trying to manipulate the emotions of their readers.
On the front of the Telegraph half the page is taken up by the same picture which is on the Sun, just this picture is more zoomed out, and the rest taken up by copy, half of that which is on another story. Also in the middle of the broadsheet there is a title saying:
“Police fear 60 bodies may
be trapped in wreckage”
This is clever, as it seems like it is not fictitious, it is believable, where-as if they had said there were 150 bodies trapped and beyond, then people would start to think twice about this. Also notice how they use ‘police’! When people see the word ‘police’ used along with some figures this clarifies in the persons mind that they must be right because the police would never lie! So the Telegraph uses that well.
The editorial staff of each paper would have done this exactly for one purpose, to draw people into thinking that their paper is the best to buy if you want to know everything about this rail crash! In other-words, they have done this to simply make as much money as possible out of this incident.
If you look closer at each front page you will notice that there are a lot of differences in the copy, like the amount of copy, the amount of syllables in the words, the vocabulary used and the amount of the page that is taken up by the copy. The above subjects, depending on the type of newspaper, vary. This is because different newspapers are aimed at different types of people, such as, you would not expect a 21 year-old man, who is on the dole, to read ‘The Daily Telegraph’ or ‘The Times’. Broadsheet newspapers generally have more copy, longer and more extensive vocabulary, where as tabloids generally have less copy and use less space with their copy on the page.
On each newspaper the picture is exactly the same. But, on the Sun the picture has been enlarged upon, not just on a particular bit, but the whole of the picture. These pictures are meant to horrify the reader so much that it urges them to buy that certain newspaper.
The headline of ‘The Daily Telegraph’ is longer that the one of the ‘Sun’, here is the Telegraph’s:
“How many more are inside?”
As you can see this is a question designed for a purpose, to draw attention from potential customers. You see as they asking a question, normally with a question next you receive an answer, but in this case there is no answer. Therefore your average passer-by will be drawn by the picture then directly above read the title, and by reading the title, they will, by human interest, want to know the answer to the question but the only way of doing this is to read the paper. But, to read the paper you have to buy it. The editorial staff of the Telegraph know how this works and exploit this to encourage people to buy their newspaper!
I think, out of the two papers the Sun is more effective than the Telegraph, because it is more eye-catching, this is because of the picture and the short, but effective title.
Each paper has chosen to devote more pages than normal to this story, the Telegraph has devoted five broadsheet sides which is the equivalent of ten sides of tabloid size. The Sun has devoted twelve tabloid size sides to this story, which is the equivalent of approximately six sides of a broadsheet newspaper. So both papers have roughly devoted the same amount of coverage to this story.
Each newspaper has chosen a look at the story from a different angle although some aspects are the same. The aspects that are the same are that each newspaper chooses to include a lot of factual evidence, also they both include a lot of interviews with many different types of people. These interviews are always no longer than ten or less sentences, with certain exceptions, for instance both newspaper have an interview with Jilly Cooper, a famous author, which takes up about half a side in the Sun and about a quarter in the Telegraph. Also in the Telegraph they have a similar big interview, this is with a man called Andrew Rosenheim, an American who arrived in Britain in 1977, this also takes up approximately a quarter of the page. In the Telegraph they only have this aspect but in the Sun they have taken another aspect into account.
In the Sun they have included an article which is asking how this was allowed to happen again and also in this article they include a part which is asking who is to blame.
In each newspaper there is a lot more opinion than fact, this is because the staff writing the newspaper want their coverage to sound and read better than any others do. In each newspaper there is an outline of events taking us through what happened before, during and after the crash. In my opinion the Telegraph has done the best here, as it has a visual reference showing us how and when the accident occurred. This consists of a diagram showing two carriages crashing, using the same layout of the tracks, with, around the diagram bullet points stating what happened and what time it happened. Although the Sun also has a diagram but the Telegraph’s is better as the layout of both the picture and the surrounding text has a better appearance and content.
Both papers have lots of interviews but in each there are a few main interviews. Both papers have an interview with Jilly Cooper, as she is a well-known writer. In the Sun they have this interview and one with MP John Prescott, and another with Patrik Welcome, a commuter who had also experienced a jumbo jet crash just 12 days ago, as well as this train crash.
In the Telegraph they also have an interview with Jilly Cooper. In the Telegraph there is some editorial comment but there is none in the Sun. A lot of the text in both papers is meant to be factual but is opinion an example of this is in this quote:
“ They weep too for the burnt victims and other injured passengers.”
You can see this is obviously opinion, as the writer does not know that any of this has happened or will happen. Human interest is exploited a lot in both papers as a means of selling and pulling people in to read more. Up to now both the Telegraph and the Sun are mainly lots of little interviews with different people.
Both papers use pictures and graphics representing the crash scene. Both papers have used one graphics piece, which in both, is a reconstruction of the crash scene showing the carriages and other specific times and details. On the first inside of the Sun there is a photograph taken just minutes after the crash, in this photo it has a picture of the crash scene with a large plume of black smoke billowing up the center of the photograph. After that there are a lot of pictures showing injured passengers, interviewees and overturned carriages and the emergency services. In the Telegraph the first picture is of a burnt, mangled carriage surrounding by lots of people, firemen and paramedics. Again the rest of the pictures are of injured passengers, interviewees, overturned and burnt carriages, and the emergency services.
In the Sun the majority of the pictures are of the crash scene where as in the Telegraph the pictures are of people and interviewees mainly.
Each newspaper uses different vocabulary, this is because they are aimed at different types of readers. Broadsheets are mainly aimed at the businessman and the more academically achieving person. Where as tabloid newspapers are aimed towards the less academically achieving people. You can see this in the copy, as the broadsheets have more copy, more advanced copy and use emotive words. Some examples are:
“ A request to that effect is expected to be made.”
“ Yesterday’s death brought renewed concern about safety on the railways.”
“ A computerised data log taken from a signalling centre at Slough could provide vital clues.”
Broadsheet writers don’t put a lot of fiction into their articles because they know that their readers being of higher intelligence will spot this and realise that it is not true. Where as tabloid writers exploit the fact that their readers are of a lower intelligence therefore they will believe more fictitious stories than the same person of a higher intelligence will, for instant:
“ Freddie Starr ate my Hamster.”
That’s why you get real story in the Broadsheets and the ‘blown-up’ one in the tabloids, because the writers exploit the intelligence of their readers, we can see this from the headline on the front:
I think that the Telegraph has got the best coverage of this story. This is because, being a broadsheet, it does not give you fictitious stories therefore you get what actually happens. Also inside it is not just all pictures and no copy, it’s quite the opposite. Being more copy, it will give you a more information on the happenings. Also the Telegraph has a useful and realistic graphic drawing, reconstruction of the crash before and after, giving you the exact time when it happened and what happened. Although, the Sun has its good points, but if it’s the actual story you want to know, well this is not the paper! All this evidence brings me to a conclusion that, in my opinion, the Telegraph has the better coverage of the story of the ‘Paddington Rail Crash’.
GCSE Media Assignment