A Comparison of Two Articles on Henri Paul

A Comparison of Two Articles on Henri Paul

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A Comparison of Two Articles on Henri Paul
Diana, princess of Wales died on 30th August 1997. She died in a car crash In a Paris tunnel. At the time she had divorced Prince Charles who was the father or her two children, (Prince William and Harry), and was in a relationship with Dodi Alfayed. This story was reported worldwide.
In the article from the Mirror, they give a biased picture of what Henri Paul Is like. They say he Is a “speed freak” and “bike nut, could down nine whiskies in a night”. This suggests that he is a heavy drinker and that he is always speeding.

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The words Speed freak displays assonance, which makes a bigger Impact on the reader. “Speed” has several connotations: It Is a drug; It Is an Illegal driving offence; It Is an adverb that Indicates to go fast. Overall this is a derogatory word to use. Couple “speed” with “freak” and we have a noun-phrase that Infers Henri Paul Is abnormal. However on the article from the Broadsheet – The Guardian – say the driver was a “quiet man”, “He’d never been seen drunk” and that “he lived for his passions of flying and sailing”. This suggests something completely different from The Mirror. It suggests that he was not a habitual drinker, and that he loved to fly his plane, and sail his boat in a professional manner, not in a “freak” way. The headings are a first Indicator of bias in both articles. “Mystery of a quiet man” Is an alliterative phrase; taken on their own the words “mystery” and “man” produce the feel of a murder mystery Investigation and this article Is the early beginnings of the conspiracy theory that surrounds Diana’s death.
In the Tabloid –The Mirror- the two pictures are shown as a close up. The first picture shows “a powerful Yamaha motorcycle” which is supposed to play on the fact that he is a “Speed Freak”. The second picture shows the “wrecked Mercedes after the 12mph tunnel smash”. This Is an emotive picture because It shows the actual car , where three people died, and seems to be linking the two elements when you drive a car as fast and as dangerously as a powerful motorbike, (superbike), this Is what happens. In the second article – The Guardian – the two pictures are shown as long-range shots. The first picture shows “Michael Cole, the Al Fayed spokesman talking to the press”. This isn’t an emotive picture because it just shows a man employed by Al Fayed talking to the press which again links to the theory that the accident was In fact murder. The second picture shows “the building In Central Paris, which was home to Henri Paul”. This is also not an emotive picture because it just shows a picture outside his home. Newspapers tend to use emotive pictures to enhance the reader’s reaction and to Influence them one way or another. Yet it’s Inclusion Is their evidence that this man is entirely normal and the claim that he was drunk needs to be investigated.
Both newspapers agree on most of the basic points that happened on the night. These include that Henri Paul was off duty, that he had a drink, he got called into work, he crashed, three people died and that he was over the limit. However there were some differences. The Mirror said that he was always drunk, he was always speeding and that the night they died, he had been drinking vast amounts. The Guardian say the complete opposite; they say he had never been seen drunk, that he was a very quiet man and that he was very calm, sensIble and professIonal, for whom drIvIng was a hIghly responsIble job.
In The MIrror, they use Informal language, such as “as drunk as a pIg”. They also use slang words lIke “bIke nut” and “bInges”. However In The GuardIan, they use more formal language such as “mystery of a quIet man” and “habItual or heavy drInker”. The MIrror also uses more colourful language and allIteratIons, “BIke nut could down nIne whIskIes a nIght”. They use adjectIval tags such as “formIdable boozer” and “party-lovIng Paul”: However In The GuardIan, they use less sensatIonalIsm and less strong words or negatIve expressIons. They at least try to sound authentIc wIth French phrases, places and names.
In the TabloId newspaper artIcle, they quote from an EnglIsh bar owner sItuated In ParIs. Mark WIllIamson saId that HenrI Paul “looked a bIt lIke a well-pIssed Groucho Marx”. ThIs man appeals to the people that read The MIrror because he talks just lIke the typIcal readers. It Is also good that he Is EnglIsh as the readers of The MIrror tend to be more patrIotIc than readers of The GuardIan. ConsIderIng they claIm HenrI Paul vIsIted “numerous bars” In France It should be questIoned why an EnglIsh bar owner has been quoted. Frankly, many workIng class EnglIsh dIslIke the French, It seems plausIble that an EnglIshman wIll gIve the response that theIr readershIp wIll want. A quote In The GuardIan Is from Marcel DouzIer, a French man who had known Paul sInce hIs school days. He saId “Paul was a really calm and sensIble type”. As he was someone who had known Paul for a long tIme, hIs quote seems to be a bIt more relIable than someone who saw Paul, but had never really had an In depth conversatIon wIth hIm. However, can a “lIfelong” frIend be relIed on to be 100% truthful? A further quote (whIch adds consIderable weIght to theIr artIcle) Is from an AIr France pIlot: “You can’t keep a flyIng lIcense If you’re a drunk”. A pIlot Is an IntellIgent and well respected person; we should value what he has to say, It Is also a statement on HenrI Paul – a pIlot hImself.
The target audIence for The MIrror Is workIng class. ThIs Is because TabloId newspapers tend to aIm for the workIng class. They do thIs by wrItIng theIr artIcles Informally, usIng the supposed language of theIr readers, and appealIng to theIr patrIotIc or “chauvInIstIc” streak. They also blame the obvIous person that they are wrItIng about In the artIcle so that It’s straIghtforward for the readers, and they know who’s to blame. However The GuardIans target audIence Is the academIc/mIddle class. ThIs Is because The GuardIan Is LIberal and tends to favour the underdog. They also lIke to have a mystery In the artIcle, so they don’t know who’s to blame but It’s up to them to thInk about It and develop theIr own opInIon about the artIcle they just read. They tend to be not so much “black and whIte” but explaIn the complexIty of contradIctIons of a case. They do not draw conclusIons for the readers lIke tabloIds do, but gIve them the facts that help them make up theIr own mInds.
I thInk that The MIrror Is based on opInIon. ThIs Is because sometImes they may not know the full story of the artIcle they are wrItIng, yet they wIll stIll blame someone. However, I thInk that The GuardIan Is based on facts because they only wrIte thIngs In the artIcle that they are sure about.
A number of thIngs are mIssIng from both artIcles. One of them Is that neIther of the artIcles talked about how they were beIng chased by the paparazzI, and that Is one of the explanatIons why HenrI Paul was speedIng. Another mIssIng fact Is that the artIcles dIdn’t mentIon that DIana, DodI and HenrI Paul were not wearIng any seatbelts, whIch could have been one of the reasons for theIr death: they had no protectIon.
In conclusIon, I thInk that the most persuasIve artIcle would have to be The GuardIan. ThIs Is because I feel that the quotes In The GuardIan are more relIable and the fact that It seems more realIstIc and less bIased. They are not afraId to say that everythIng Is not clear and I feel less Influenced. However The Mirror seems a bit more exaggerated and if I read that article in their newspaper, I wouldn’t be sure whether I should believe everything they say.
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