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GCSE media studies coursework Essay

In this essay I will be comparing two articles taken from local newspapers in different areas. I will be looking at the techniques used in each article and their effectiveness. I will use this comparison to eventually decide which article is the more effective of the two.

The two headlines from the articles are quite different. ‘Inches from tragedy’ is a large, bold headline written in a way that makes you want to see what the headline is talking about, as it sounds serious. ‘Firemen free bathroom tot’ on the other hand is quite small for a headline and only really uses one emotive word, free, making it sound like the child was imprisoned, which is worse than what actually happened. I think that ‘Inches from tragedy’ is the more effective of the two headlines because it grabs the readers attention and uses a lot of emotive language in such a short space to make the reader carry on reading.

The language used in these articles is quite emotive in both cases. Both articles use exaggeration to tell you what they are trying to say. This is especially evident from quotes like “escaped death by inches” and “impossible for him to get out” as they are telling the truth about the events that occurred in each case, but are blatantly over-emotive to make the article more interesting. The firemen free bathroom tot article especially exagerrates the situation as it makes a toddler stuck in a bathroom sound like a major rescue attempt, whereas the other article Inches from tragedy features a very serious situation anyway. I think that both articles use emotive language very well, and that they are equally good at getting there point across through using language.

Both of the articles feature one long, main interview and one shorter interview towards the end of the article. The interviews have been included in each case to give the reader an account of the events in the article from one of the people involved. This is a good idea as people who were actually involved in the events of the article will be able to give more information on what actually happened, and will probably know things that no-one else does. Having interviews also makes the reader sympathise with the people involved, especially if it is coming from one of the people mentioned in the
main first paragraph of the article. The people who put together the articles must make sure that everything they include in the interviews is relevant and that they are not too long. I think that the article that uses interviews and quotes better is probably Inches from tragedy, because all the information given is relevant to and informative about what happened. I also think this because the interviews featured are not too long and leave room in the article for other information.

Having a picture in an article is a good idea, because it lets the reader see exactly who was involved and let them see what effect the events of the article have had on them if at all. It can also give extra visual information to back up what is said in the article. This is especially evident in the picture from Inches from tragedy as it not only gives a picture of the avalanche victims, but also diagrams and labelled photos to show exactly what happened and where and when it happened. Journalists may also include pictures in their articles because it breaks it up and makes it seem like less to read. An article consisting entirely of text can seem quite daunting. Again Firemen free bathroom tot is nicely done with a good picture of the firemen and the child they ‘rescued’, but Inches from tragedy uses it’s picture better because as well as a photo of the two brothers caught in the avalanche, it has informative and interesting diagrams as backup to the article.

Using fact and opinion in an article is good because it lets the reader compare an outside factual account of what happened with an opinion given from a reliable source. These two things will probably differ from each other, so it is good to give the reader both so that they can compare the two to see what actually happened. As well as differing from each other fact and opinion also back each other up on certain points of the article, such as the effect something has had on certain people. Fact and opinion can add drama to a piece, but the journalist would be better off making sure that they tie in with one-another, rather than being totally different. This would give well backed up accounts of what happened, adding a sense of drama to the article. Both articles use fact and opinion very well and I think are equally successful at giving well backed up information about what happened
in each.

These articles are obviously aimed at different audiences. Inches from Tragedy is found in the Metro, a newspaper which is probably aimed at city types and people who live in places dominated by big news. Firemen free bathroom tot on the other hand is found in the Bury St. Edmunds Citizen which is probably aimed at the people who live in the town of Bury St. Edmunds where news like that in this article would probably be big in the town, but not many other places. This means that the article from the Metro has been written in an interesting and emotive style, but is condensed to a size that can be read quite quickly. It also contains just the basic facts about what happened, backed up by good interviews.

The other article on the other hand is about the same length, but contains a lot of information on what happened, backed up by fairly short interviews with the people involved. This more long-winded style is probably better suited to an article of this nature. The final effect on the articles is that Inches from tragedy is interesting to anyone because of the use of language and pictures, but Firemen free bathroom tot would only be found interesting by the people of Bury St. Edmunds. However, this is probably what both articles wanted to achieve anyway, so they are both quite effective at reaching their target audience.

Overall, I think that both articles are effective at getting their story across to the people intended. They both feature emotive language, a large headline, interviews and a picture. Inches from tragedy was very well put together and extremely informative. The language used and the picture are two of this article’s main strong points, but it could do with more information on what happened and how instead of the excess of interviews. Firemen free bathroom tot is also very well written and is probably aimed at being something of a comedy article. It makes the situation sound major by using lots of exagerration and emotive language.

However, sometimes the language used is a bit too much for the situation, as it isn’t anywhere near as serious as the article makes out. There is also quite a bit of irrelevant information in the article, such as the child looking at the fire engine. I think the most successful of these two articles has to be Inches from Tragedy, because it is interesting, informative and not too long. It also backs up the information given in the articles by picking out relevant quotes and sections from interviews. The other article I feel doesn’t do this as well and so it just loses out.

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