Analyse and compare two tabloid newspapers - Sample Essay
Analyse and compare two tabloid newspapers – one ‘quality’ and one ‘popular’ TABLOIDS are the newspapers that are printed on an A3 size of paper and contain more than just news and world events. In a tabloid, the news shares the content along with sports, advertisements and other features. In this part of my coursework, I plan to evaluate and compare the front pages of two British tabloid newspapers. THE DAILY EXPRESS For my analysis, I have chosen the published copy of the Daily Express dated 14th May 2004. The main photograph on the front page occupies around 20% of the whole side.
The photo is of a well-recognised personage, Victoria Beckham. She is wearing designer clothes, dark glasses, and carries a handbag. She stands on a tiled floor. The sophisticated designers wear of the woman connotates her wealth; we also learn of her fame from her presence on the front page of the paper. The lighting of the photograph is on this woman; the background has been kept dark and mysteriously unknown. We can tell that the setting of the picture is negligible, as the photographer has deliberately left the background unfocused.
The tiled floor gives the connotation of a public place. The unimportant setting is also realized from the proportions of the picture; the figure of the woman fills most of the frame, leaving as little background as possible. The woman’s expressions are not very positive; the picture is a snatch photograph where the subject is unaware of the photographer and hasn’t posed. The body posture of Victoria Beckham – with one leg ahead of the other and the face being turned away from the camera – also supports the idea of a snatch photograph.
Her stance implies that she may have been photographed while walking. Her facial expressions and lips suggest that she may have been talking. Such a snatch photograph can urge people to buy the newspaper because Victoria Beckham is a celebrity and a snatch photo of hers could make them want to find out what has been happening with her. The key article of the front page is not linked to the main photograph. The headline of this front page says, “Abortion dad 13 : WE WERE GOING TO CALL HER CHLOE. ” The headline is a quotation, possibly used from an interview with the person involved.
The newspaper claims that the front-page article is an exclusive, a story covered by their press only. This is an intelligent way to attract their audience, as people will believe that what they can read in the Daily Express they will not get a chance to read anywhere else. A puff (used for self-promotion) has also been used where the Daily Express has labelled itself as “The World’s Greatest Newspaper”. There is also a byline telling the reader that the editorial has been written by the chief reporter of the Daily Express.
The topic of the main article concerns the abortion of the baby of two teenagers, one 13 and the other, 14 years old. It fundamentally tells the reader of the opinions of the couple and their relatives, on the abortion of the unborn child. There are approximately 104 words in the article, with 13 lines and about 8 words in each line. The editorial begins with a stand first; an introductory paragraph that tells the reader what the story is about. We are then given information on the main people involved in the incident.
Finally, the opinions of related people are given, leaving the article somewhat unfinished, with a potential libel. However, it is difficult for the reader to guess if the claims made by the paper are true or false. The most important piece of information in the whole piece of writing is given at the very end of the article; this is where the reader learns that the mother of the pregnant girl had not been told about the abortion and was considering suing for assault. This is what leaves us at a kind of cliffhanger, as we do not find out if the mother did sue.
The reader may also doubt if this claim made by the paper is true. The article is structured so that it gives some basic facts at the very beginning and the reader can know whom the story is about. Every piece of information is put down very briefly, with about half a sentence for all the different sides of the story. By and large, the Daily Express has decided to make the headline as eye-catching as possible, but has left the actual critique very concise. Being typical of tabloids, the front page does not have as much of concrete news as it has other items.
THE TIMES The Times tabloid is a highbrow. Originally, a broadsheet newspaper, the tabloid is a bit lighter, but with the heavy content of the broadsheet Times. For my analysis of The Times, I have chosen the published copy dated 14th May 2004. The focal picture on the front page occupies about 40% of the side. It is the photograph of a woman standing all alone in a very big stadium. She is not an acknowledged person. Her face is expressionless with her chin held high. She wears simple clothes with ordinary colours and no accessories.
Her hair has been tied back in a rough, clumsy manner. The proportions of the stadium to the woman are huge. This gives the reader the connotation that the setting of the photograph is much, much more important than the subject in it. This is also realised from the fact that the woman is not a well-known person. The photographer has wanted to make the reader focus on the location of the picture. The expressions on the woman’s face are rigid, and her body, stiff. In vast vicinity, she is the only person the reader can see.
Although she stands at the centre of a huge stadium, we are given the impression that she does not have the freedom of moving about. The woman has posed for the photograph and looks straight into the camera. A caption has been used underneath the picture, telling us its location and about the subject in it. It also tells us why it has been taken so that a person who sees the picture can read the caption and decide if they are interested in reading the article that it is linked to. The Times is very different from the Daily Express.
The Daily Express has tried to catch the attention of its audience by putting the image of a popular celebrity on the front-page so that people get curious to know what all they can find out about her. They have used the figure of a posh and trendy figure, in a snatch pose. The populace can tell by looking at the photograph that what they can find out about Victoria Beckham in the Daily Express, may not be from her own words, but inside information about her private life. In comparison to the Daily Express, the Times has concentrated on a calculated photograph.
For attracting an audience, they have chosen to display how far they have progressed into a particular issue and important information that they have researched on world events. They focus on the venue of the picture, whereas, the Daily Express only focuses on the individual they know people will be attracted towards. The headline on the front page of the Times reads : “Army to block fuel revolt”. The headline gives the reader information about a government organisation and a decision that may be undertaken in the near future.
There is also a strapline (a secondary headline) above the headline, separated from it by the photograph, which says, “On the night of another bombing in Athens, I spent two hours inside the Olympic stadium’s ring of steel. ” The audience will believe these to be the words of the woman from the main picture. Consequently, they will feel inquisitive about knowing what occurred with her. The item on the front page is a Splash; it is the only main article on that side. The editorial is about the price of petrol and revolts that may rise as a result of the increase in petroleum prices.
It gives information on the involvement of the army in the matter and also about fuel shortages that have occurred in the past. The entire item consists of 94 lines with about 4 words in every line, hence resulting in approximately 376 words on the whole. The most significant information is given at the very beginning of the article where the reader is straightaway plunged into the issue, being fed facts on how the government has plans to prevent fuel revolts and the participation of the armed forces. The first paragraph sums up everything that the editorial has reported overall.
After the first paragraph, the reader can choose if they wish to go into the details of the event. We are firstly given information about the people involved in the affair and then about the steps that may be getting carried out in its concern. We are educated about the history of the whole issue and why steps are being taken to stop certain things. There is a byline telling the reader that the article has been written by the Transport Correspondent of the Times. The Times has used Self Regulation as it has agreed on a Code of Conduct to keep all material legal, decent, honest and truthful.
The dissimilarity between the Daily Express and the Times starts at the very beginning, with the headlines. The headline of the Times shortens down the most important fact of the front-page article, while the Daily Express’s headline is a quotation from the main editorial. It gives the reader no clue on what the item is about so that they have to peruse the whole article to find out what the story is. The article of the Times hasn’t claimed itself to be “exclusive”, like the Daily Express, and neither has a puff been used.
The front-page item of the Daily Express concerns a trivial but drastic event. However, the Times tells the reader about a vital event taking place in the world. In the entire front-page editorial of the Daily Express, the reader only learns of the event and the people associated with it. The Times, on the other hand, tell us what the event is, its history, its causes, consequences and what is being done about it. The news of the Daily Express is more personal than the Times, which gives a broader view of a big world event.
The article of the Daily Express begins with a stand first. A person will only get to know of the people involved in the issue by reading the first paragraph; to find out the whole story, they will need to read the whole item. In contrast to this, the Times gives its readers the most important information at the very beginning and the readers, then being knowledgeable about the event, can choose whether or not to carry on reading. Overall, the Daily Express has made its front-page very appealing and the Times has published theirs closer to a broadsheet.
The following table compares the overall content of the Times and Daily Express :- THE TIMES THE DAILY EXPRESS NEWS 60% 45% FEATURES 18% 10% ADVERTISEMENTS 10% 10% SPORT 10% 25% OTHER 2% 10% A ‘quality’ tabloid follows all the traits of a tabloid newspaper, but its news content is a shortened version of the same broadsheet paper. Alternatively, a ‘popular’ tabloid doesn’t give very much of news, especially on the front page. It is more concerned in making its front-page eye-catching, to make more of the public buy it.