As part of my media studies practical coursework I have decided to produce some pages from both a tabloid newspaper and a broadsheet. I have chosen to do this as this will allow me to clearly distinguish the differences between the styles and reporting techniques as tabloids and broadsheets are relatively contrasting genres of newspaper. Broadsheets are large newspapers, which are usually aimed at the A-C socio-economic groups, which usually consist of upper class, professionals and graduates.
The Broadsheets usually provide predominantly ‘hard news’ and feature articles. However on a ‘slow news day’, described by journalist John Pilger as a day ‘which usually falls on a Sunday or during the holiday period when the authorised sources of information are at rest’, we see the introduction of ‘softer’ news and ‘human interest and ‘dead donkey’ stories. He explains in the introduction of his book ‘Hidden Agendas’ ‘that it is generally agreed that the media show cannot go on whilst the cast is away. ‘
Broadsheets try to be impartial to the personal opinions of the editor, however some papers have been branded as politically biased an example if this would be the Daily Telegraph, which has been given the epithet the ‘Tory Graph’. All newspapers aspire to concur with the ‘ideal newspaper model’ as explained by theorists Hirsh and Gordon. This model states that newspapers should be fair and unbiased, give appropriate and just provision of news and provide articles, which caters for a multitude of interests.
Broadsheets attempt to fit this model by providing a variety of supplements along with the main body of the newspaper. An example of this would be the Guardian, which, each day provides a different supplement ranging from the Monday media supplement to the G2 entertainment and TV section. No newspaper on the other hand features all of the models ideals. Tabloids are usually aimed at the C-E socio-economic groups, which usually consist of working class people such as manual workers with a lower degree of education.
Tabloids, commonly known as ‘red tops’ usually have a certain political and left or right wing bias. A prime example of this would be the Sun. Tabloids such as the Sun have a downmarket character and a pornographic appeal. Features often include soft ‘celebrity and sex scandal’ news and when hard news is provided not all stories are fairly reported. In 1989 the Sun sparked controversy when editor Kelvin MacKenzie wrote an article called ‘The Truth’ based on the Hillsborough tragedy in which 96 fans died.
In this report MacKenzie wrote headlines, which were derogatory towards the Liverpool fans and branded them as hooligans. The article described how ‘drunken Liverpool fans viciously attacked rescue workers’ and that ‘pickpockets urinated on the bodies of the dead’. In reality the families of the Victims had accounted for all of the possessions of their families and nothing had been stolen. This resulted in the paper being boycotted across Merseyside.
When I plan and create my own broadsheet I will try and follow the format of other popular broadsheets by adjusting the use of language and my reporting expressions to fit with the Socio-economic groups and target audiences. When I write an article for my tabloid I will make it more controversial will use simpler terminology in my reporting and colloquial, conversationalist language in order to give the ‘mate down the pub’ lighthearted image to the paper, which in turn would appeal more towards the target audience. I will use the inverted triangle system, used by journalists when I am writing my articles.
I will put the most important details of my article such as the Who, What, Were, Why and When at the top of the triangle and the minor details at the bottom so that when it comes to editing and changing my articles I will not loose any important information. I will produce my papers using a Publisher computer programme as this will allow me to set out my articles into columns and I will take photographs using a digital camera instead of an analogue one as this will allow me to manipulate, edit and crop pictures on the computer.
I will write to various people in order to gain interview and will use both qualitative and quantitative information to base my reports around. I will use existing newspapers to model my newspaper around but will uses the theory that I have collected throughout the module such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Hirsch and Gordon’s ideal newspaper in order to make the papers that I design somewhat individual and appealing to the preferred target audience and beyond.