This analysis contrasts and compares a broadsheet and a tabloid newspaper. I chose to compare ‘The Independent’ with ‘The Mirror’. The analysis involves a general comparison, and also a more detailed evaluation of one news item that appears in both papers. If we examine the front cover of each paper to begin with, we notice that there are differences. The title of ‘The Mirror’ is around 1/10th of the page, whilst ‘The Independent’ title is approximately 1/16th. The font used for ‘The Mirror’ is relatively modern in appearance, using sentence case with black outline and white fill.
In comparison, the font for ‘The Independent’ is more traditional, using black bold capital letters. The title also contains the logo on the left hand side. The price for ‘The Mirror’ is 32p and this is presented in bold text at the bottom right hand corner of the title. The price for ‘The Independent’ is also found in this location, however the text used is extremely small and the cost for this paper is 50p.
The difference in price could suggest that each paper is aimed at a specific audience. This suggests that a paper like ‘The Independent’ maybe targeting a more professional consumer, in a higher pay band.
Another difference is in the placement of the bar code, in ‘The Mirror’ it is found on the back page, whereas in ‘The Independent’ it can be found near the bottom right hand corner, of the front page. This shows that ‘The Independent’ is a larger paper and has enough room to put the bar code on the front page, it does not add or subtract from the news articles. Layout is important in any newspaper, the front page is the first impression the audience gets. The majority of newspapers attract their audience through a lead story.
‘The Mirror’ has only one main story on the front page. The headline is presented in large capital text, with a slightly more explanatory sentence underneath. This takes up just under one half of the page, and in terms of story detail, there is only a small area comprising five paragraphs. Readers are told to ‘turn to page 4’ to continue reading. The other half of the front page is made up of a photograph that reflects the main storyline. Exactly the same photograph is found on the front page of ‘The Independent’, however it takes up around one quarter of the cover page.
The story is summarised in one sentence beneath the photograph, and the readers are referred to page 8 to continue reading. In addition to this main story, ‘The Independent’ provides significant discussion relating to four further main stories. In fact, there is a great deal of text used for each of the stories; hence the reader is immediately faced with a lot of reading material. It is worth noting that ‘The Independent’ also has several other features on the front cover, that are not found in ‘The Mirror’. These include, a coloured advert that is found at the bottom of the page, and takes up around 1/7th of the front cover.
At the very top of the page, the paper advertises a specific article, and attracts the reader by presenting three questions and also shows a picture of the writer who is going to comment on the issues. The other feature is a small summary of ‘Today’s Weather’ that includes some text and a representative image. Faced with the two papers, ‘The Independent’ appears to be aimed at a more intellectual audience, the sheer volume would put a less intellectual audience off reading. ‘The Mirror’ appears to be more simplistic and the story is shorter in length and is also told through the images.
Another reason for buying ‘The Mirror’ could be that the audience wish to absorb the main news in brief whilst in transit. The number of pages in ‘The Mirror’ totals 64, whereas ‘The Independent’ has 30. However, ‘The Independent’ provides two additional supplements, and is also twice the size of ‘The Mirror’. ‘The Mirror’ basically aims to ‘entertain’ the readers. In contrast, ‘The Independent’ is essentially an educational paper. This key difference can be seen when looking at the overall content of the papers as follows. A whole range of entertainment features can be found in ‘The Mirror’. These include cartoons, quizzes and word search.
Additionally, the paper has adverts on almost every page, and there are many photographs including glamorous and fun photographs. A whole page is dedicated to horoscopes and the paper offers 9 sports pages. The paper provides very few articles on serious current events, and concentrates more on gossip type news. The content of ‘The Independent’ is very different. The paper comprises news and discussion of world events, along with a range of articles that focus on such things as ‘education’, ‘the environment’, ‘politics’ and ‘economics’. There is a lot of business information such as ‘stocks and shares’, ‘exchange rates’ and ‘interest rates’.
In contrast to ‘The Mirror’, there are only 5 sports pages, and there is only one crossword, found in one of the supplements rather than the main paper. The target audience for ‘The Mirror’ is working class, and people who are not interested in ‘intellectual’ debate. This contrasts with ‘The Independent’ as this broadsheet paper clearly aims to attract readers from a higher social class including people from the business and academic world. Apart from the content as previously discussed, there are several other points, which clearly show that the papers are aiming to attract different types of readers.
The papers use a different style of language to attract their audience. ‘The Mirror’ uses casual terms, colloquialisms and even slang ‘ – ‘UK reels as Yanks stay put’. It uses word play ‘stop this sick compensation agrichculture’, and alliteration ‘Rape Rampage’ and ‘Dyer Disgrace – Four sizzled soccer stars sent home’. The storylines aim to shock the readers ‘Saw suicide husband moves in with lover’, and the language is often someones opinion ‘unfair, Mr Blair’. However, ‘The Independent’ tends to use formal language and presents facts rather than opinions, for example ‘Blair clocks up 40,000 miles on his travels’.
It gives figures and statistics to back up the stories ‘ visits to Britain slumped by 17% in the last month, almost 70,000 fewer tourists visited, according to the Office of National statistics’. Much of the political debate provides ministerial quotes ‘Duncan Smith: Health service is deteriorating’. Looking specifically at the chosen article with the aim of exploring the differences between the two papers, the story relates to current world events associated with the terrorist situation and with problems that have occurred with Concorde in the past.
As an outcome of the terrorist attacks, many people have been afraid to fly and the story focus’s on the fact that the ‘Concorde Alpha Echo’, had its first commercial flight from Heathrow to New York since being grounded in August last year. The story features as the only main story on the front page of ‘The Mirror’, and is featured alongside four other main front page stories in ‘The Independent’. As mentioned previously the photograph on both front pages is exactly the same, and shows ‘Concorde’ about to take off.
The image compounds the story, and in some ways tells the tale without any words. The title for the story on the front page of ‘The Mirror’ is ‘COWARDS’, and appears in large font. However, ‘The Independent’ simply presents a sentence PUT IN SENTENCE FROM PAPER HERE! , which provides a brief factual summary about the flight, take off. This is found underneath the photograph. Immediately one can see that the title in ‘The Mirror’ is judgemental and confrontational, whereas the term used in the ‘The Independent’ is more objective.
‘The Mirror’ introduced the story as an ‘EXCLUSIVE’ and stated ‘Hollywood stars too scared to fly were branded ‘gutless cowards’, by British Airways boss’. This reinforces the negative and opinionated mood of the article as already established in the headline. In contrast the opening sentence in ‘The Independent’ was much more positive, stating that Sting the pop star was amongst the 90 VIPs who joined the flight. This once more shows the upbeat approach used, which contrasts with the more antagonistic approach used by ‘The Mirror’.
The description of the food and drink in ‘The Mirror’ inferred that the stars were indulging in unnecessary expensive items ‘Some more vintage Krug, Mr. Morgan? ‘. Whereas ‘The Independent’ played this down and introduced some humour into the article with ‘the dignitaries toasted the rehabilitation of the Concorde with vintage Krug champagne and Maine Lobster albeit eaten with plastic cutlery’. Another difference can be seen in the descriptive language used by the papers. ‘The Mirror’ describes the take off using an analogy associated with thrill rides ‘Take off is like something on an Alton Towers ride’.
‘The Independent’ uses much more creative style ‘it is just so aesthetically pleasing, such direction and poise’. ‘The Mirror’ also describes New York in terms that aim to shock, and uses emotive language to do this ‘ anthrax-ravaged, terrorist torn New York’, whereas ‘The Independent’ focus’s more on such emotions as ‘patriotism’. Another example of the more down to earth colloquial terms used by ‘The Mirror’ is where the writer discusses safety, and this is presented as ‘I was frisked more thoroughly than I have ever been frisked before’, the message being driven home by using the word ‘frisked’ twice.
‘The Independent’ talks more in terms of ‘safety checks’ and ‘the grim reality of terrorism’, rather than using the more tactile description used in ‘The Mirror’. In conclusion, the two papers contrast significantly. Whilst to some extent they cover the same main stories, the presentation, the language, the descriptions and the way in which the stories are told use totally contrasting techniques and styles. This aims to suit the audiences for which the papers are written.