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Tabloid And Broadsheet Newspapers Comparison Essay

Comparision Between Tabloid And Broadsheet Newspapers

A comparison between how broadsheet and tabloid newspapers convey the same story

I have chosen to compare a story from The Times as my broadsheet paper and The Sun as the Tabloid. The story is primarily about a man who had raped his two daughters several times.

In The Times, the headline said ‘How two girls were trapped by shame, fear and the love of their own children’. The Broadsheet focuses on sympathizing for the girls, giving all information they have in a straightforward way and getting the story through rather than trying to get attention or exaggerating the story, as they did in the tabloid paper, The Sun. The headline was ’25 life terms for Brit Fritzl who raped his two daughters 1,000 times’. The numbers stand out and make the story seem more shocking. 1,000 is a very big number and it makes any audience shocked to see such a big number in a headline. As this is a tabloid, you never know, the number might have been altered. But that is not the first thing that comes to mind when you see such a headline. You would want to read more about it. In the Broadsheet, the man who raped his two daughters is referred to as ‘Mr X’, as his family do not want to be recognized in public, and it is also against the law to identify names for a story about sexual abuse. But in the Tabloid they avoid needing to use a name as a reference.

In the tabloid, the man is compared with a well-known Austrian person named Fritzl who just like ‘Mr x’ had raped his daughter then imprisoned her. This is very typical of a tabloid paper to make comparisons and also use informal language such as ‘Brit’. The language in the tabloid is much more easy to understand, and it is quite informal and simple. It is the sort of language you would use everyday, unlike in the broadsheet where they use much more formal language, as it is aimed at this sort of audience. You might find Prince Charles reading a broadsheet paper rather than a tabloid. The tabloid paper tries to grab as many people’s attention as possible, therefore exaggerating the story to make it sound more interesting. It uses lots of pictures, and you could hardly find a story in a tabloid without a picture for it. In this story, they have used a picture of Josef Fritzl and also a picture of the judge, as they were not allowed pictures of ‘Mr X’ himself or even his family. In the Broadsheet, they don’t use any pictures at all as the type of audience they are aiming for are not interested in seeing pictures, they rather have more information.

Tabloid papers focus more on stories to do with celebrities, gossip, music and entertainment, whereas broadsheet papers focus more on hares, market, business and politics. Broadsheet papers have a higher level of language and use a serious tone, unlike the tabloid where they use a careless blasé tone, or an excited one. They also report stories in more depth, and have a twice the size of tabloids, even though the font size is the same. Some examples of...

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The media in general plays a huge part in our society by using forms of TV, radio and in adverts in papers, even adverts on the side of a bus. This is to get our attention to make us buy or watch what they are putting out, to make people excited of what they are selling, by making them like that thing by using forms of TV and radio saying psychologically ‘if your cool then you have to get this’.

In tabloid newspapers they don’t have many intelligent words because the audience they go for are people who are not well educated, tabloids talk about things like sports, fashion, celebrity gossip and the latest music, however broadsheet newspapers go for more knowledgeable people, people that are lawyers and bankers, so they use more intelligent words and talk about political issues, things intellectual people would understand and would like to read.

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Because tabloid newspapers go for a lower class audience, the layout is mostly the headline and the

Photo , e.g. the headline takes up 2/3 of the page and the picture takes up 1/4. Whereas a broadsheet newspaper goes for a higher class audience so instead of having one big headline and picture, they have lots of articles about political issues and small pictures and captions to anchor the articles. E.g. articles take up 3/4 of the paper and the pictures take up 1/8 of the paper. Broadsheet newspapers also have a lot more plugs than a tabloid newspaper would have because they have a lot more space to put either plugs, advertisements, photos or articles.

The masthead on both newspapers are in the same place and round about the same size (1/8). It is found at the top-left hand side of the page. In a tabloid the backing of the masthead is red to make it stand out, that’s why tabloids are also known as redtops. On a broadsheet newspaper there is more by-lines and jump-lines because there are more articles on the front page but a tabloid only has one article so there would only be one by-line and one jump-line.

In a tabloid there would be one massive headline that would sometimes use alliteration to draw the audience in, but a broadsheet would have lots of headlines, all different sizes depending on how important and interesting the article was. A tabloid would also use puns to make the article more interesting for the lower class audience, whereas a broadsheet wouldn’t because their articles are about important issues and they don’t need to be made into jokes.

There should always be the 5 w’s in articles to make them whole otherwise the article would be nothing. E.g. I took an article from the daily telegraph on the 19th September 2007 and within the first paragraph I took note of the 5 w’s which were: Who: US Federal Reserve – establish who the article is about, What: Took Action – what happened, When: Last Night – the news has to be new news and this shows us that it is new news, Where: In America – where the news was found, and Why: To Prevent Global Financial Crisis – why is the article there. So already in the first paragraph we know what its about so we can judge if we would like to read about it further.

I took an article from a tabloid newspaper to see how many words have three or more syllables and one or two syllables and here are the results – Daily Mirror on the 12th September 2007 – words with one or two syllables – 45, words with three or more syllables – 6. The sun on the 10th September 2007 – words with one or two syllables – 40, words with three or more syllables – 7. So as you can see tabloid newspapers have lots more words with one or two syllables than they do with three or more with syllables, this is because the audience they go for are lower status people, people who are not well educated. Also they shorten down words like knockout to KO and one hundred to 100 so its easier for their audience to read, otherwise if their audience couldn’t understand what the article is saying they wouldn’t buy it again because it confuses them, but broadsheet papers go for higher class audience so they use more intellectual words.

If a newspaper wants to get a point across or a opinion to the reader to make them feel the same, they would use a picture to their advantage, e.g. if a paper wanted to tell you what type of clothing to wear then they would get a unattractive picture of a celebrity wearing a outfit that they don’t like to say ‘warning do not buy these clothes’ or they would get an attractive picture of a celebrity wearing clothing they want to sell to make it say ‘these are the clothes you should be buying’ so they would try and make it into a fact when its really there own opinion.

I started a media journal for a week to see how much media effects my time, the result of it all was that I spent more time watching TV and listening to music then I did doing anything else e.g. doing my homework or doing something useful, this proves that the media can have a massive effect on our lives if we let it.

The question we have to ask ourselves is ‘is the media or the audience in control?’ and to find the answer we have to compare the different ways the media influences the audience and the different ways the audience influences the media.

This table shows that we use the media just as much as the media uses us.

This diagram shows that the media needs us otherwise the media wouldn’t work and that we need the media as well.

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