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A Comparison of Tabloid and Broadsheet Newspapers

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A Comparison of Tabloid and Broadsheet Newspapers


1. INTRODUCTION

British newspapers fall loosely into two categories the tabloid (which
is half the size of a broadsheet) and the broadsheet itself, with
tabloid newspapers tending to be quite different from broadsheets in
style and content as well as in size.

The so-called intelligent media represented by the Independent and the
Guardian seem to present problems to their readers and say ‘here is an
article, judge for yourself from the information and the informed
journalists that we offer. Commentators such as the art critic Brian
Sewell stated “opinion, as expressed by a rag is worthless” with Mark
Thompson the Director of BBC Television, commenting “I think people
use the media in quite sophisticated ways. They might read a tabloid
newspaper for fun but it doesn’t mean they believe everything in it is
true.”

If you look on a news-stand the British national newspapers can be
roughly divided as follows:-

Broadsheet

Tabloid

The Guardian

The Daily Mail

The Independent

The Express

The Financial Times

The Star

The Telegraph

The Sun

The Times

The Mirror

The table shown above illustrates an example of a stratified sample.
This type of sample is made up of different layers of the population
that are to be investigated. The sampling frame is divided into
non-over lapping groups or strata e.g. geographical areas, age-groups
or in this case tabloid and broadsheet daily newspapers. Obviously it
is not possible to test every paper in the population so therefore a
random sampling technique was used to select which were representative
or typical of the whole population.

For the purpose of this coursework the two newspapers which were
chosen by this method that will be used are the Guardian (broadsheet)
and the Daily Mail (tabloid).

2. HYPOTHESES

Tabloids and broadsheets do look different by design not accident as
each paper is trying to appeal to who it sees as it’s’ core
readership.

Hypothesis One

Both are written in a particular style with the assumption made that
the tabloid stories are generally smaller in length with words that
are shorter and easier to understand while broadsheet stories tend to
be more in depth and have longer more complicated words.

Hypothesis Two

In general, tabloids make far greater use of advertisements and
pictures than the broadsheets do with the total area of the paper that
is allocated to images likely to be far greater in the tabloid than
the broadsheet.

These two hypothesis will be tested in turn with the results commented
on in Section Four onwards.

3. PLAN FOR HYPOTHESIS ONE

To minimise any possible bias that could potentially skew the results
a system was devised so that no selection was more likely to happen
than any other selection. To achieve this each of the broadsheet and
tabloid newspapers were given a number between one and five. A dice
was then thrown by a third-party and the number that the dice landed
on was noted. This number was then cross-referenced with the numbers
allocated to each of the papers and the relevant papers were then
selected and purchased..

To begin the investigation three articles were chosen that covered the
front page lead of each paper, as well as a story which covered the
subjects of finance and sport.

Each of the articles was required to be purely text based and contain
a minimum of three hundred words each. Any identified nouns with a
capital letter and hyphenated words were ignored, as well as words
that had one, two or three letters as these occur in all text as
joining words.

The next step was to identify every third word and the number of
letters it contained. This exercise was continued until one hundred
words and their corresponding letters had been identified with the
results completed in the frequency tables, which are shown in Section
4 – Data Collection.

After the data has been tabulated comments will be made on the data’s
mean, median and mode with relevant comparisons made both in a
narrative and bar chart format.

4. PLAN FOR HYPOTHESIS TWO

Need to speak to Pauline.

5.1 HYPOTHESIS ONE DATA COLLECTION – INDIVIDUAL TABLES

TABLOID

Article 1 – Front Page Lead

Letter (L)

Frequency (F)

Letter x Frequency

4

32

128

5

19

95

6

13

78

7

10

70

8

12

96

9

9

81

10

2

20

11

2

22

12

1

12

Totals

100

602

Mode: 4 Letters Mean: 6.02 Median:
5 Range: 8

BROADSHEET

Article 1 – Front Page Lead

Letter (L)

Frequency (F)

Letter x Frequency

4

34

136

5

18

90

6

14

84

7

8

56

8

10

80

9

6

54

10

7

70

11

2

22

12

1

12

Totals

100

604

Mode: 4 Letters Mean: 6.04 Median:
Range: 8

TABLOID

Article 2 - Finance

Letter (L)

Frequency (F)

Letter x Frequency

4

40

160

5

25

125

6

9

54

7

8

56

8

9

72

9

5

45

10

4

40

Totals

100

552

Mode: 4 Letters Mean: 5.52
Median: Range: 6

BROADSHEET

Article 2 - Finance

Letter (L)

Frequency (F)

Letter x Frequency

4

23

92

5

15

75

6

14

84

7

16

112

8

14

112

9

8

72

10

3

30

11

4

44

12

3

36

TOTALS

100

657

Mode: 7 and 8 Letters Mean: 6.57 Median: Range: 8

TABLOID

Article 3 - Sport

Letter (L)

Frequency (F)

Letter x Frequency

4

50

200

5

16

80

6

12

72

7

3

21

8

10

80

9

3

27

10

3

30

11

3

33

Totals

100

543

Mode: 4 Letters Mean: 5.43
Median: Range: 7

BROADSHEET

Article 3 - Sport

Letter (L)

Frequency (F)

Letter x Frequency

4

26

104

5

19

95

6

11

66

7

14

98

8

11

88

9

9

81

10

5

50

11

1

11

12

1

12

13

2

26

14

1

14

TOTALS

100

645

Mode: 4 Letters Mean: 6.45
Median: Range: 10

5.2 HYPOTHESIS ONE DATA COLLECTION – AGGREGATED TABLES

TABLOID TOTAL

Letter (L)

Frequency (F)

Letter x Frequency

4

122

488

5

60

300

6

34

204

7

21

147

8

31

248

9

17

153

10

9

90

11

5

55

12

1

12

TOTALS

300

1697

Mode: 4 Letters Mean: 5.7 Median:
Range: 8

BROADSHEET TOTAL

Letter (L)

Frequency (F)

Letter x Frequency

4

83

332

5

52

260

6

39

234

7

38

266

8

35

280

9

23

207

10

15

150

11

7

77

12

5

60

13

2

26

14

1

14

TOTALS

300

1906

Mode: 4 Letters Mean:
Median: Range:

The Mode of the Aggregated Tables – Bar Chart X

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