Cultural Consumption: Task 28

Buy and read and compare a story from both a Broadsheet and Tabloid newspaper:

Before doing the task, I didn’t know what these classifications meant, although I was of course aware that there are different kinds of newspapers which present different types of  information, in certain ways.

From doing the task, I learnt that the difference seems to be, a Tabloid involves more ‘scandal’ and ‘sleaze’ stories – it seems to be trying to give its readers gossip rather than factual serious news. A broadsheet however comes across as more formal, with better written and more factual articles.

The two newspapers I compared were The Sun, and The Independent, both issues from Friday 17th January.

I often read the independent online, and I knew that The Sun would be a huge contrast.

I actually struggled to find the same story in both papers, due to the really high contrast in content. The Sun was full of stories about sex offences, celebrity gossip, sport, and only really featured politics if it was really scandalous – e.g. one ‘humourous’ feature about displays of violence in the House of Commons.

The Independent seemed to be portraying news stories to inform the readers – rather than to shock and entertain them. For example an article about the atrocious conditions in Syria,  where people are starving to death.

One article I found in both papers, that was portrayed in very different ways was the story about 3 year old Mikaeel Kular, who went missing on Wednesday night in from his family’s flat in Edinburgh.

The Sun portrayed the news as more of a scandal. Continuing to hint at how suspicious the incident was, and literally highlighted ‘clues’ by circling images in red, to hint that this was something more than a normal missing person investigation. Although they repeated quotes from the police stating they are not treating the family as suspects; the way the article was written seemed to suggest this.

The Independent however portrays the incident in a more factual way, rather than from a certain point of view. The way it is written does not suggest a particular opinion, it reads quite factually. It focuses more on the efforts of finding the boy, rather than speculating how he could possibly manage to get out of the apartment (which is the focus in The Sun). The article also seems to try to aid the search, by providing important information about his appearance, and supplies a help line number, for people to use if they have any information on the investigation.

The main difference seems to be the priority of the two articles. The Sun seems to prioritise pointing out how suspicious the case is, whereas The Independent reports the facts on the search so far, and prioritises finding the missing boy.

This exercise has really taught me to analyse the motives behind information in the media, rather than just absorbing the information in the way it is presented to me. This is important because in many forms of the media, information is presented in a way to support a specific viewpoint, or mindset, and frequently this is not the un-biased truth. I will also spend more time considering where I receive information from.

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