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Two British newspapers select, construct and present news to readers Essay

Analyse the way in which two British newspapers select, construct and present news to readers.

In this essay I am going to look at two newspapers, one tabloid and one broadsheet, and analyse the different techniques used by them to select, construct and present news to their readers. I will do this by examining their news values, news sources and use of effective layout.

I will also look at their use of key concepts in the production of news articles. I plan to look at The Sun and The Times. The definition of a tabloid is: “In summary form; condensed. Lurid or sensational”. This does accurately sum up what a tabloid is. A tabloid newspaper is “a newspaper of small format giving the news in condensed form, usually with illustrated, often sensational material.”

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The language used in The Sun is mainly mono syllabic language using simple language and a large proportion of the space is taken up by mastheads and pictures. This means the stories in tabloids are not only easier to read but also shorter. The language is very sensationalised in tabloids also, this is because they want to sell more papers and making stories more dramatic can do this. The amount of ‘hard news’ that a paper decides to print is determined by the editorial policy of the paper. Tabloids do feature political stories, though they tend to prefer to focus on personalities of the politicians rather than the actual issues that may be relevant.

The language used in broadsheets is very different. The language is mostly poly syllabic and much more subjective. They use more complex language and a large proportion of the space is taken up by text, broadsheets have less pictures and generally smaller mastheads. There is likely to be a much closer correlation between the news in the broadsheets and the TV news. In most cases the lead story will be the same. The order of importance in which the news has been ranked is also likely to be similar in the case of TV news and the broadsheets.

Rupert Murdoch owns both the newspapers I have chosen to look at. The editor of The Sun is Rebecca Wade and the editor of The Times is Robert Thompson.

Broadsheets are aimed mainly at class A, B and C1’s. This is because they often have a higher interest in the issues of politics and finance. They are less likely to want to read gossip and news based around celebrities. Tabloid readers are, however, more of working class, categories C2, D and E and are usually less educated therefore would rather have a gossip page to read that is less challenging and demanding. However often newspapers will runt he same story on the front page. Newspapers have to tailor the story to its target audience. They will adjust the angles at which they look at it. A newspapers sources are also quite important in the way that they effect the way a story is written. Whereas broadsheets sources will be mainly manipulative, a tabloid will have more pluralist news sources.

The way in which minority groups are represented in newspapers is very different. A specific example of this is the representation of Muslims since the incident on September 11th. The Sun actually wrote a story trying to stop prejudice toward Muslims in this country and tried to take a differing view to other pares. The Times has a similar view to all the other broadsheets, a very conservative view. Many of these newspapers are printing a bad representation of minority groups. This is more evidential in broadsheets because the people who read them hold more power. By putting across a bad representation of minority groups to these people they are effecting the way these groups are treated.

The Times is a conservative paper with quite right wing views. The Sun, however, is now labour although it has been known to change its political standing and has become known as the paper that wins election. It helped Margaret Thatcher to win the conservative election in the 1970’s and then in 1997 changed to labour and helped Tony Blair to come into power.

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