For this comparative study I will write about two news articles, which are from The Sun and The Times websites. They are both about photos that were taken of soldiers ill-treating Iraqis. I will study and compare the phonology, graphology, lexis and grammar from these two pieces. The article from The Sun includes history of the soldiers whereas The Times is just information about what happened and how the photo’s were discovered.
I predict, that as The Sun is a more an informal newspaper, it will be less serious than The Times and is probably more emotive as that is what I expect the target audience to be, the target audience is the type of people that the newspaper aims to reach.
On the other hand, I hypothesise that The Times will be more about the event itself and less about the history or reactions of the people involved.
The article from The Sun website is informal. I believe it’s informal because some of the metaphors could appear slightly comical even though the article is serious, such as “Trussed up like a chicken” and contains a generally medium to low level of vocabulary, also the paragraphs are short and simple.
However, there is no slang in this piece so in my opinion I would say this article is not as informal than I thought it would be. The piece from The Times has a medium level of vocabulary, for example, “sadistic maltreatment”.
The reading age test is a test designed to calculate the recommended reading age of articles or stories.
For The Sun article, I found that after doing the reading test, the age that is appropriate to read the story was 14 years old and above. For The Times, I found it to be for 34 years olds and above, this seems like you have to be highly intelligent to read it but if an official test was done for this article, I believe it would just be assumed that it is a harder article to read.
The specialist vocabulary used in The Sun story is trying to convey at the soldiers tormenting the Iraqis as nasty and evil whereas the Iraqis are portrayed as undeserving of this prejudice but not totally innocent. Examples of this are “Desert rat captors”, desert rats would probably be scavengers so these words are used to make it appear as If they are preying on the Iraqis and “disgraceful conduct” used to describe the soldiers. The Iraqis are referred to as “looters”, this seems contradictory because at first the Iraqis seem innocent but then it says they “loot” and steal so they may not be as innocent as shown.
The vocabulary in The Times conveys the Iraqis as totally innocent and the victims in this, they are referred to as: “Bound, blindfolded, tied in a net and helpless”. Whereas the soldiers are portrayed as evil for subjecting detainees to “sadistic maltreatment”.
The Sun article portrays an image of the solders being like scavengers on prey by using names like “Desert rats” to describe the soldiers and using the metaphor “like a hunter with his prey”. The Times doesn’t seem to convey much imagery apart from that the Iraqis are blindfolded and helpless and generally mistreated.
The tone of both pieces seems very critical and slightly sympathetic towards the Iraqis. It changes throughout both articles from critical to shocked but all the tones seem to be negative. For example, at the start of The Sun article it appears shocked “Shocking photos of British troops allegedly abusing Iraqi looters” to “…Military offences of disgraceful conduct of a cruel or indecent kind” which seems disapproving instead of shocked.
Both articles are written in past tenses as this event occurred in the year 2003. There are no ellipses in both pieces; this could be said because ellipses usually occur in natural speech where the listener understands what the speaker is saying. Also in both articles the sentence types are both declaratives as they are informing us about what happened in the articles.
In The Times story, nearly all of the sentences have compound construction, they give one main point but continue to carry on the meaning by further adding detail. Such as “The photograph was one of 22 presented yesterday at the court martial of Larkin and two of this comrades who are accused of shocking and appalling abuse and sadistic maltreatment of Iraqi detainees.” However in The Sun article, the sentence structure is mostly simple. They are short and only give one point “Larkin admitted battery by assaulting an Iraqi in his custody.”
In The Sun, Alliteration is used to make certain words stand out such as “allegedly abusing” and “snapped standing”. Once these words are made to stand out, readers can see what opinion; positive or negative, the writer is trying to give. As with the first article, the writer of The Times article uses alliteration to make certain words stand out such as “bound…blindfolded…bare concrete as a British base near Basra” I think the first part of the sentence is to promote emotion from the audience at the conditions of the Iraqis, and I think the second part of the sentence is just to capture the readers attention because of the terrorist activities around areas like Basra, people are keen to know if anyone else like that has happened. Another piece of alliteration from that article is to “strip and simulate sex acts” I believe this would also be to promote emotion, but of a stronger degree, as it would tell the readers how bad it was.
The font for both pieces is standard and constant through the articles. The only thing that changes is that, In The Sun, during speech, the font changes to italics as to indicate easier to readers when speech is occurring. However, The Times doesn’t do this and the font remains constant and unchanging throughout the piece, I believe this is because it is a short piece and it doesn’t have speech like The Sun does apart from small quotations.. The length of paragraphs on both pieces are shorter, this would probably be because it is easier for the reader to read and not to be put off by large amounts of writing. Nevertheless, The Sun has shorter paragraphs in general and I believe this is because it is a less formless newspaper and probably stereotypes to have a less intelligent audience.
After analysing my work, I can agree with my hypothesis in saying that The Sun will probably be simpler and be a less complex piece whereas The Times will be more complex and The Sun will have a lower reading age than that of The Times.
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