The Mail on Sunday - Sample Essay

On the front page, other features consist of ‘fury over UK refugee expulsions and ‘Briton held in US camp as al- Qaeda prisoner’. These are clearly important news bulletins related to world issues and considering that both newspapers were published on the same day, it shows the difference between the two papers. That ‘The Mail on Sunday’ does not feature these editorials as highly as Prince Harry’s article and shows that their readers are interested in novelty news.

The most eye-catching item of the article 2 is Prince Harry’s portrait. It immediately portrays the Prince as the paper wants the reader to think of him, the innocent, vulnerable child. Below is the caption, which reads ‘Prince Harry experimented with cannabis’. This shows that the newspapers have not only taken into consideration Harry’s drinking experience but also considered his drugs experience. It immediately shows a wider picture and indicates a more knowledgeable approach to the feature.

The headline reads ‘Prince Harry taken to drink and drugs rehab clinic. ‘ This is simply an informative title not giving a biased view to the topic or containing any hidden meanings. The typeface is lower case and small compared to that in article 1 giving a less dominate effect. A small amount of amusement is added for the reader. ‘So that’s why Harry called it Highgrove’ is added to the top of the picture. This indicates that possibly the article is not as serious as some of the others that make up he paper.

Though on page 5 three pictures make up about half of the expose they all portray Prince Harry as innocent, one especially that of him at his mother’s funeral. They trigger the reader to sympathise with the Prince. The headline on this page is ‘ The Trouble With Harry’. This is a catching title, short and the letters are relatively spaced out. It gives the impression that Harry is simply a young ruffian and also informs us that the article is going to explain the background and the problem that involves the Prince.

I will now look at and compare the text of each article. Article 1 contains averagely sized text, however compared to the to the column width of article 2, the column width of article 1 is much wider, on average, four more words can be fitted onto each line in article 1. Also the average length of these columns is shorter as they are split by captions and images. This indicates that the readers of article 1 are likely to have a shorter concentration span and find it easier to cope with reading smaller chunks of text at a time.

In article 2, sentence structure is apparently more complex than that of article 1. So is the complexity of the language used. The language itself is only slightly more complex as it takes an informative role with facts that are made reasonably easy for the reader to take in. However between the facts, the sentence structure does become more complex and demanding compared to the openness and simplicity of article 1. Both articles are written to inform and almost persuade as a slightly biased view is give from both papers but they both have opposite views.

Article 1 gives an impression that Harry has done something disgraceful, that he is the ‘bad egg’ in the royal family whereas the Observer to a certain extent defends the Prince putting his troublesome nature down to his unfulfilled childhood. Both papers use facts to try and persuade their readers. Article 1 uses more facts about the issue not giving any background information. Facts on other issues such as the Princes alleged lust for Natalie Pinkham are used to indicate that the Prince is not only a rebel in the area of drink and to push the article to be a big a scandal as possible.

For some readers, the image of Natalie Pinkham may attract their interest such as a page three girl would. This makes it more shocking and gossip worthy for the reader. In article 2 a lot more facts are used on Harry’s background to try and justify his actions. This reduces the shock element of the article and creates a more sympathetic view for the reader. More quotes from highly regarded people such as Prince Charles himself to make the reader regard it of higher quality. The Observer has taken the issue of Prince Harry in a lighter tone than The Mail On Sunday.

The Mail on Sunday has manipulated the story to create a hard-hitting scandal that would shock readers. This shows the two different styles of the papers and how the issue fits differently into the papers styles. The Observer has a more serious tone dealing with up to date news, contemplating different views and The Mail on Sunday takes the issue at face value and turns it into what can only be described as a scandal, taking the side against the Prince. I personally admire the Observer more.

It is however my biased opinion as I had the view as The Observer before I read the articles. The Observer seems to give a fairer and more detailed account of both sides of the story to leave readers, to a certain extent, to make up their own minds about the issue. I was put off by the way that The Mail on Sunday detracted from the issue as I felt that it had not fully covered his drinking problem. I felt that the article would be something that should be in a magazine not in a newspaper. I admire the more traditional and less commercial approach of the Observer.