Accounting for the Differences Between the Front Pages of Two Daily National Newspapers Printed on the Same Day

Accounting for the Differences Between the Front Pages of Two Daily National Newspapers Printed on the Same Day

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Accounting for the Differences Between the Front Pages of Two Daily National Newspapers Printed on the Same Day

National newspapers are split into two categories; tabloids and
broadsheets. Tabloids contain many articles on celebrities and gossip,
some news and many large pictures. Popular tabloids are ‘The Sun’ and
‘The Mirror’, but are also nicknamed ‘red tops’, often because the
names of the papers are printed white on red, while broadsheets print
on a more conventional black on white. Broadsheets are often larger in
size and thickness and also concentrate on more serious topics. They
include more stories that concentrate on politics and world issues.
Popular broadsheet examples are ‘The Daily Telegraph’ and ‘The Times’.
Here, we will be focusing on The Times and The Sun, which are a
broadsheet and a tabloid respectively.

As the two newspapers we are looking at were published on the same
day, we would expect the same headline and news bulletins and we would
also expect the same style of writing, seeing as the two newspapers
are owned by the same company.

However, once we see the two front pages, we can instantly see that
that is not the case. Reasons for this could be that the two
newspapers are targeted at different ‘classes’ and audiences. Also,
the papers may be targeted at people of different levels of education,
or familiarity of the English language. Because of the differences in
audience, the company is able to make as much profit as possible by
producing different newspapers.

The two mastheads are quite different in size and colour. The Sun has
white writing on a red background which gives it a very light hearted
and colourful look. This presents a very welcoming feel to the paper.
The Sun also has a welcoming feel as it costs a lot less than The
Times; The Sun costs 30p, whereas The Times is double the amount. The
Times’ masthead is a very traditional black on white writing. The
fonts are different as well. The Sun has lowercase italic writing, but
The Times has block capital writing with no italic or underlining

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effects. It is also written in Times New Roman, which could be a
reason for the name or vice versa.

In The Times, we see a lot of information crammed into spaces. The
main headline is quite long compared to The Sun, but precise, with no
chance of it being misunderstood. ‘Outrage as Paris burns and French
riots spread’, has a clear meaning and gives quite a good indication
of what is to come in the following article. You can tell that people
need time to read the paper, as there is a lot of the actual story in
the first page. There is also a fact file with a few facts and
figures, which summarises what has happened so far. However, above the
main headline, there is a bit of gossip on “How to survive the party
season”. This is not gossip that most people hear which are mainly
rumours. The gossip here is based more on facts again and the
‘must-haves’ for the season. This is also an advert for its secondary
paper, which presents all the gossip and small talk. There is a column
on the left had side of the paper which summarises all of the main
headlines across the world and gives a contents column. This is
something which is not found in tabloid papers, as they contain much
less global news and concentrate on news closer to home. The Times
also gives a small contents page at the bottom of the ‘contents
column’, which shows things that would seem very uninteresting to the
working class people, but for people in marketing and business people,
this would be something they need. This also shows the differences in
audience that the papers target. The language in The Times is much
more formal, and shows much less quotations from people than The Sun,
and presents only paraphrases of speeches that people give.

There is also a sport section which is advertised by a glum looking
Chelsea manager, with the title ‘Who’s feeling blue now, Mr Mourinho?’
This is an idiomatic pun as Chelsea’s colours are blue, and to feel
blue is to feel down, and as Chelsea had just lost a game it sounds
quite amusing to those who watch sport. The sport section of the Times
seems much more advertised than that of The Sun, as the Sun’s sporting
section has a small advert under the masthead. In comparison, The
Times’ sporting advert takes up the entire right hand side.

In The Sun, we can see an example of an ‘easy to understand’ language
as there is a huge headline: “Bang ‘em up!”, which contrasts the style
used in The Times. This kind of language – slang and abbreviation – is
there for the purpose of attracting the reader and wanting to know
what they mean by the headline. The headline is likely to be a quote,
which also attracts people who wish to know of public opinion, so
people like MPs could actually benefit from reading The Sun. The
subheading itself is, “7/7 mum urges MPs to back Blair on terror law”.
This heading makes a few assumptions that people know who ‘Blair’
refers to, what ‘MP’ stands for, and what happened on the 7th July.
The actual story that goes with the headline is only a very small
paragraph and is as big as the picture of the mother. However, what is
there of the story is quite unoriginal and boring. They describe the
7/7 attacks as an ‘outrage’, and also says that the prime minister
would ‘cave in’ under pressure. These phrases are often used, as
calling the 7/7 attacks anything but an outrage would result in a lot
of anger and drops in sale of the paper. Also, saying the prime
minister would cave in is also common, as prime ministers are often
portrayed as weak and willing to bend either way depending on public
views. The actual story also appears quite unimportant, as it is only
continued on pages 8 and 9. Celebrity gossip also appears on the front
page, with a ‘Potter premier special’ that appears on pages 4 and 5.
This shows that this newspaper considers celebrity news quite
important and targets an audience that enjoys reading about
celebrities. The entire right hand side is covered by a picture of the
Harry Potter actor, Daniel Radcliffe, and there is a headline within
the picture, which is “What the frock you got on, Harry?” This
question is a humorous one, as the word ‘frock’ is very close to an
expletive and therefore makes it quite humorous to those with this
kind of vocabulary. Also, the sporting section is, as I said before,
much less advertised. However, we can see from the advert that there
is a 28 page section on sport only and a big sporting section appears
to be printed every day. The headline for the sport is “Victorious
Fergie turns the air blue”. This again makes an assumption that we
know who Fergie applies to, and is again a pun, as Sir Alex Ferguson
swore on live television, and because the fact that Chelsea play in
blue. The fact that which explains the use of the phrase ‘turns the
air blue’. It is also a pun as ‘turning the air blue’ often means that
swearing is taking place.

From the front pages, we are able to identify who the target audience
is, just by looking at the style, size and use of language and text.
We can also tell the differences in audience by the amount of pictures
on the page and what the pictures are of. For example, in the Sun, we
see a huge picture of Harry Potter which shows that The Sun has a lot
on showbiz and celebrities. The fact that The Times barely mentions on
the front page it shows that the paper is barely interested, and puts
global news before celebrities. Also, The Sun assumes that its readers
are very up to date with the news, but The Times is much more
informative about the facts and what, if anything, has occurred in the
past with similarities to a recent incident. I feel that there is a
smaller advert for the sport in The Sun because it expects its readers
to know about the sporting section and assumes it to be a regularity
for its readers. However, in The Times, a big sport section is
probably rare, and therefore it wants its readers to take notice.

Overall, I think that The Sun is for the working class with little
time to read the newspaper and wants to read about sports and glamour.
The Times is more for people with time to read about facts and world
news, but has no general interest in sport or celebrity life, and is
therefore has a higher class target audience. We can tell this from
the language they use in the two papers, and the selection of what
they put on the front page. I believe that a comparison of what the
two papers put on the Harry Potter premiere is a good example of how
much the papers care about celebrity, and also The Sun puts in a
smaller advert but dedicates more pages to sports, which is an
opposite to The Times. The language is also much more formal in The
Times, which also gives an indication of the audience it is aimed at.
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