Analysis of Media Coverage on Prince Harry Taking Drugs Essay Sample

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I studied three front pages of new papers each with the same front-page story of Prince Harry taking drugs. One paper was a broad sheet, The Sunday Time one was a red top tabloid, The News Of The World and the other was a tabloid, The Mail On Sunday.

My first impressions were that all of the papers were quite different. The Sunday Times looks very different from The News Of The World and The Mail. The Mail first attracts you to the bold headline and the picture of Harry, this catches the readers eyes making them wonder what the story is about. The News of the World is a red top, this is where the Mast head is on printed on red. The News of the World has a very big headline, which is white on black (known as WOB) the three bullet points at the bottom of the page attract the attention of the reader. The Sunday Times is very different. The story of Harry is at the top of the page showing importance, but the lead story is about the Rail track, but what catches the eye of the reader is the American flag because of the red and blue colour. All these papers where published on the same date 13th January 2002.

Each paper has published the same story on Prince harry taking drugs but each paper has delt with the story to suit the target audiences. The Sundays Times is aimed at the businessmen middle class people and older people who have time to spend reading the article. The News of the World is aimed at the working class it is very sansationalised.

The Mail is for the upper working class, it is for a very average family. The Sunday Times and The Mail are both very the Royal family, both of these papers are sent to the palace.

The news of the world has a very hold and big splash head printed white on blank (wob), the splash head is all in capitals letter and takes up a lot of the room. Under the splash head is underscored bullet point. The splash head and the underscored bullet points attracts the reader a they take up a lot of the page and are really bold. Next to the mast head there is an ear piece area telling you what else you can see in the paper. At the very bottom there is a cross reference telling the reader there is 6 more pages of the story, this could make the reader more interested and if they didn’t by it they could be wondering what other information the paper has on the story. The photograph in this paper suits the story, Harry has a look on his face which seems he’s not bothered about has happened.

The picture was taken a very bright and sunny day making his face stand out. The Mail on Sunday also has the lead story but the headline is smaller compared to The World of the World, but is also in capitals. The mastheads is Gothic front, under the mast head there are two ear pieces which are white on black, it is a good use of contrast, both the headline and the ear pieces stand out. On one of the ear there is a women, they have put her so her head comes out of the box the ear piece is in, it looks like she has been placed over the top of the ear piece, this also eye catching. The photograph in this picture Harry has a very plain look on his face, he is holding a cup he has properly won at polo but looks a beer cup to the reader

The Sunday Times has the symbol which means by Royal appointment. This shows the Queen has your product sent to the palace. The mail on Sunday also has this symbol but The News of the World does not. The mail on Sunday has not used Prince Harry’s story as the lead story unlike the others but it is still of importance because it is still placed at the top of the paper. The headline is smaller than the other two papers. The lead story is about the railtracks and Tony Blair, this is because it is appealing to its reader as people that are into politics and business are more likely to read this paper and they would be more interested in the railtrack story. Unlike The Mail on Sunday and The News of the World, The Sunday Times has no photograph of harry. The headline is a straightforward statement: “Prince Harry admits smoking cannabis” the other two papers use more strong emotive headlines. There is no picture of Harry so the red and blue on the American flag attracts the attention of the reader and draws the them to that story this is the most eye catching of all the stories on the page. Along the side of The Sunday Times are supplement of what’s to come in the paper, this gives the reader a good idea of what to expect in the paper. There are no supplements in The Mail or The News of the World. All three papers are very symmetrical in the way everything lines up.

The Language on each of the headlines are very different. The News of the World’s headline is “HARRY’S DRUG SHAME” all written in capital letters. In this headline, they used the word “shame” as an emotive word. There is underscored bullet points using emotive words “illegal” and slang “rehab” “pot” which is non standard English, this language is appealing to their target audience. The Mail on Sunday’s headline is “PRINCE HARRY: I TOOK DRUGS” also in capitals. This seems to the reader that he has taken drugs, The Sunday Times has the headline “Prince Harry admits smoking cannabis.” Every thing is written in lower case apart from the important words. it is a simple statement written in Standard English.

The Mail on Sunday and The News of the World has a caption, which explains what is going on in the picture above. The news of the World’s caption is “troubled prince: confessed all to Charles” and in the picture Harry doesn’t look really bothered about what’s going on. In The Mail the caption is “ordered to leave: Harry had been drinking at a pub near Highgrove.” The picture above is a Prince Harry with a cup in his hand, it looks like a beer cup but is most likely a cup won during polo. To the reader it looks like he has just come out of the pub. The Sunday Times does not have a caption because it does not have a picture,

The News of the World has a one-column page lead. The language in the column is very strong “frequently” “serious” and “hard- core heroin addicts” this emphasises the drama. The News of the World doesn’t use standard English “dope” where as The Mail and The Times uses standard English “rehabilitation” The Mail uses a bold introduction, but the Sunday Times and The News of the World doesn’t.

In each of these three newspapers the number of words are very different. In the first line of The News of the World there are 19 words in the mail there is 28, in The Sunday Times there are 6. The main difference between each of the 3 papers is that the Times concentrates factual inputs where as the tabloid’s goes for more shocking statements. The Sunday Times is a paper that concentrates on reporting the news in a way that would interest and educate its reader because they know that this is what their clientele expect of them.

The News of the World on the other hand relies on punchy, shocking headlines and gossipy type of reporting of the news because this is what their reader want to read about. The Mail is very middle of the roads it provides its readers with factual accounts mixed with eye catching headlines to get their readers interested in its stories.

The Times uses a higher caliber of words to project its story, and although not particularly emotive, it portrays a good interesting read. The news of the world uses very emotive language to fire up its readers and get them excited. The Mail does not use any particularly emotive language, it concentrates on giving a factual account.

The view of The News of the World is to embellish the stories to make them more attractive and to sell more paper. It likes to present exclusives to ensure good sales. The Times concentrates on reporting its stories with a very factual viewpoint to maintain it credibility and The Mail is very middle of the road newspaper, using eye catching headlines to get its reader interested but also providing relatively factual story that would be expected by its readers.

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