The two articles we have looked at for analysis have a common theme - both talks about the dangers and long-term effects of tanning. The first article is from The Big Issues and the second is from Derby Evening Telegraph

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‘Media’ is the plural of the word ‘medium’, which often refers to different ways of communicating with other people; if the target is a large number of people, then it is called ‘mass media’. There are many types of media, such as TV, radio, films, newspaper, Internet etc. The main purpose of media is to entertain; however they can also be used to persuade, inform, explain and advice. Media can be very powerful; therefore people are influenced and affected by them.

The two articles we have looked at for analysis have a common theme – both talks about the dangers and long-term effects of tanning. The first article is from The Big Issues and the second is from Derby Evening Telegraph. The Big Issue is a magazine sold on the streets of big cities; Derby Evening Telegraph is a local tabloid paper.

Tanning has not always been very fashionable. In the Tudor times, untanned skin was considered to be a sign of wealth and status. People who were tanned were often labourers and peasants working outside on the farms. However in the nineteen twenties, when Coco Chanel, a top designer, returned from the Mediterranean with a tan, people thought that it was very attractive. Nevertheless not everybody could afford to travel abroad for a tan, it was only in the sixties, when package holidays came into place, going abroad was made possible. Nowadays, if people are tanned, it means that they have money to go on holiday abroad.

The Big Issue, as mentioned before, is a magazine sold on the streets, and the profit goes to the homeless people. It was founded in nineteen ninety-four. The Derby Evening Telegraph is a local tabloid paper founded in eighteen seventy-nine with a circulation of approximately five and a half thousand.

The two texts have been written with different intentions and they both have specific target audiences.

The first text, ‘Sun Vampires’ from The Big Issue, has been written to inform the readers of the dangers and long-term effects of tanning. Other purposes include: to ridicule the ‘tanorexics’, to advice people about the proper method of tanning and to warn those who are beginning to go on the sunbeds. The main target audience of this article is the younger generations of the society who are more likely to get addicted to tanning on sunbeds. Nevertheless to some extent, the authorial intent is to entertain and titillate leisurely readers who are looking for something to amuse the mind.

In order to achieve the purpose and communicate the ideas to the readership, the writer uses vernacular language such as ‘fork out’, ‘one hell of a habit’ and ‘let’s face it’, and modern names, e.g. Peter Andre and Bros – these techniques appeal greatly to the young people and therefore convey the message more effectively. The writer also grabs the attention of casual readers by using a light-hearted tone- as a result of this, the reader wouldn’t be too shocked or frightened, thus willing to buy another copy of the magazine in the future.

The second text, ‘Face the fact – the sun is a real danger’, from Derby Evening Telegraph (DET), have similar purposes to the ‘Sun Vampires’: to inform, to advice and to warn. However, unlike ‘Sun Vampires’, this article concentrates more on one particular event, rather than the general overview of suntanning. This is because of the difference in the readerships.

This article has been specifically written for the people of Derby. So by using a local story, the readers can relate themselves to it more, therefore are likely to be swayed by the contents of the text. An example of that is the inclusion of a local skin specialist nurse, i.e. Karen Elton; the readers might trust a local professional more than an external one because the chances are that they have heard of the expert somewhere before or have had contact with him or her.

A possible age group of the target audience is middle-aged women. Younger girls might find it hard to relate to the older woman in the article because of the huge age difference. The words ‘fact’ and ‘danger’ suggest that the article is going to be serious, therefore it becomes less appealing to the younger girls.

The citizens living in Derby, the main readership of D.E.T, are more likely to alert to the dangers of tanning and sense the urgency, because the story is happening very close to them.

In order to effectively convey the messages many presentational devices are used in the two texts.

The headline is bold print and immediately attracts casual browsers’ attention, hence making them interested in the article. The headline is positioned in a very eye-catching place: right at the top; the casual browsers is one of the target audiences and the headline would quickly meet their eyes.

The strapline, which is just below the headline, gives more information about the headline, as if defining the words, ‘Sun Vampires’. However, it is not as important as the main headline, therefore it is in a slightly smaller font and less bold.

The middle-sized picture of a young woman on a sunbed is a reflection of the headline. In the same way as the headline, the image shows contrast: the white sunbed – ‘Sun’ compares to the burnt skin – ‘Vampires’. This helps the readers build much more vivid images of what ‘Sun Vampires’ look like.

Furthermore, a sunbed has connotations of a vampire’s coffin and the girl with blackened skin symbolises a vampire; this shocking image exaggerates the writer’s point and is almost an artistic translation of the headline. The illustration also assists to convey the message: it shows the long-term effects of tanning.

This article is organised into columns, which makes it easier to read – this is especially beneficial for the young readers that don’t always have great concentration skills. Within the article, there are snippets of quotes from the text – these are designed specifically for casual browsers who aren’t willing to read whole chunks of text to understand what the article is about.

There isn’t a caption to go with the illustration, however some may argue that the headline, ‘Sun Vampires’, in fact acts as a caption in someway.

The masthead of D.E.T reads ‘Health & Wellbeing’. The ampersand is actually inside an apple, which appears to have been taken a bite out of. The reader might link this to the say: ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ In order to stop visiting the doctor, they have to actually eat the apple to stay healthy.

Underneath the masthead is the slogan; it can be easily noticed, because after the title of the paper draws in the reader, their eyes would automatically travel down and catch the vision of the slogan.

The size of the font decreases as the reader nears the main text. The headline, the strapline, the standfirst; each one smaller than the previous. An abstract funnel shape appears which draws the reader in, and as the reader’s concentration increase, the font size decreases.

The photograph of Lynne dickens is positioned on the right of the page, and it takes up almost half the space, thus very eye-catching. In the picture her hair has been pushed back to reveal the whole face and the full effect of the sun – the cancer sores.

A close-up of her reveals detailed expressions, i.e. the mournful look in her eyes and the fact that she’s not smiling, as if something is troubling her. This has connotations of distress and remorse.

In the picture, she appears to have eye make-up on to draw attention away from the rest of her face.

The blank background seems to be a window, which she is leaning against and looking out of. This implicates that she regrets what she had done, and wish things had happened differently. Moreover it illustrates her desire to go outside, into the sun, but can’t because of her own mistake.

The reason why the editor decided to portray an older woman, rather than someone from the younger generation is that it shows that long-term effects of tanning, and really make the readers think about their future.

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In the corner there is another block of text, which gives advice on what symptoms to look for. We can tell that it’s not part of the main story because the font style and size are different. However it is still relevant to the main subject, so the subheading is made bold to gain the reader’s attention.

The language in these articles ahs been used to create certain effects, to target the readership and be fit for purpose.

In text one, ‘Sun vampires’, the headline itself is an oxymoron; ‘Sun’ often links in with the light, whereas ...

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