The Daily Mail - Sample Essay

The headline that is shown on the Daily Mail is: ‘BOY OF 14 STABBED TO DEATH AT SCHOOL’ I believe this should be read with an emphasis on the highlighted words because to me they are strong and meaningful words within the context they are used. This headline is maybe a slight bit over the top because although Luke Walmsley was killed with a single stab wound which is bad enough this gives the image that he was repeatedly stabbed until he died a gruesome and bloody death.

This could be a selling tactic because with such little information it would urge you to read on and find out the facts and add depth to the article instead of just eight words, summing up the whole event. Also by using such a short headline it allows a variety of other stories to be advertised so the paper is appealing to a wider audience and to people with wider interests. The sub-headings, the by-line and what inside page to turn to for the main story are all in bolder larger fonts than the actual stories text.

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This is because most readers read the headings and sub-headings before actually buying the newspaper to see if the article is interesting therefore they are also main selling points of the newspaper. When you turn to see the main story you are confronted with a completely different image of Luke this may be put on the inside because the other image would attract more readers than this image would. I think the article was carried on inside because not enough information was given on the front page and the paper had to carry on the article otherwise it would have been pointless ‘putting the article to print’.

On the front page his picture is that of a regular troublesome cheeky teenager but on the inside pages there is a face of innocence staring back at you. There is also a note from friends which says: ‘Luke, you’ll forever be in our minds. Live in peace! ‘ However, the way in which the text is laid out and paragraphed breaks up the page and half way through the article is a quotation from the text which says: ‘we are devastated. ‘ This gives the reader a chance to reflect on what they have just read and is in a way a break for them as well.

In the report a lot of quotations are used this is to give the reader the chance to read how other people feel about this tragic event. Examples- Mrs Campion stated: ‘Even more devastating is that way it happened – inside the school, in a corridor, as he waited to go into a classroom. ‘ This is Luke’s aunt she was not at the scene of the crime when it happened so she is just going by what she has heard. Luke’s aunt also said: ‘He was a very sensible boy. He would stick up for himself if he got picked on, but he certainly wouldn’t go looking for trouble.

‘ Once again this is Lukes aunt, she is not an immediate family member but she is close enough to know Lukes character well therefore she is able to make a comment but how did she know for certain he wouldn’t go looking for trouble? A family friend said: ‘They do not know how a lad of that age can be carrying a six-inch knife around school’ she is talking about the staff members at the school but once again she wasn’t at the school so she is going by what people have told her. Just because the article in the Daily Mail is based upon a factual event doesn’t mean what they are writing is the truth they often use incorrect information e.

g. it says he was stabbed in his leg and severed an artery but it was later shown he was actually stabbed in the chest. This was maybe used to make the story sound more dramatic, and is very often over exaggerated. There are a lot of interviews and surplus comments. These I found were not needed and sometimes irrelevant. For example family and close friends who weren’t at the actual scene when it happened passed comments about their views and feelings about what had happened without knowing the full details.

Only one person who was actually present at the time of the stabbing was interviewed so if she hated the boy who stabbed Luke, and liked Luke then it was a biased interview. At no point did I feel the boy who stabbed Luke was defended, but does a person like that deserve to be? Therefore the story is biased towards Luke. The language used in this paper is simple and the majority of the vocabulary is monosyllabic for simplicity and easier readability. This type of newspaper is aimed at the categories c1-e on the JICNAR scale. The less educated part of society would be expected to read this style of paper.

This article also includes similar results from the past for example, Damilola Taylor. This shows that it isn’t the first incident like this that has taken place and to show that there is violence around the country. It tells us that something needs to be done to stop these acts of violence in order to defend children, like Luke and Damilola weren’t. On the front page the picture dominates the page with a small amount of writing – just enough to capture the readers interest and urges them to read on because not enough information is given.

People want to know the full story not a small dilapidated version. The paper is detailed and writes a good story but whether the detail is true or not is another thing completely. They write articles without thinking about the possible consequences; whether or not they are making a star or ruining some ones life. It may be misleading but it is partially true and people want to have a taste of everything that is on offer true or not – so they buy the paper.

The distinct difference between The Mail and The Independent is their targeted audience, both are aimed at an audience but the two audiences want completely different things. Generally the Independent is truthful, detailed and covers politics. Generally The Daily Mail is trivial, not completely factual and not very informative but is still just as, if not more popular. This is due to fact it publishes celebrity gossip, sports results and punchy headings to unbalance the readers emotions.

The Independent uses a layout that is big and bold, eye catching but this is not achieved using vivid colour. The colours used are subtle but still effective. The size of the paper is obviously eye catching because it’s so large. The picture used is a good choice it is the same as the one used in the interior article in the daily mail it is a real face of innocence. This is a sign of being biased that they might believe Luke was 100% innocent. No colour is used but the picture is large and the text surrounds it on four sides, but it is still very effective.

The main headline is long but not very bold it is very level headed. It is larger than the main article but does not stand out a huge deal the title of the paper is much more obvious and almost makes it appear unnoticeable. There is no direct narration of the event itself. It is not particularly emotive in any way. This shows that The Independent is non-biased and has a neutral view. It doesn’t seem to have a hidden agenda to try and make up the audiences own minds, unlike The Daily Mail, it gives the readers a chance to make up their own opinions and have their own views.

The main heading doesn’t draw the reader in as much as The Daily Mail because it sounds less exciting and more factual and informative. It is the truth but doesn’t sound very exciting; however it does use alliteration. The Independent hasn’t exaggerated the story; their aim is to inform the readers the facts and give them truthful detailed information. Another thing about the main title is that it is not all in capitals like the Daily Mail was therefore it doesn’t stand out as much.



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