GCSE Media Studies Essay Sample

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Describe and account for the differences between the front pages of two daily national newspapers printed on the same day.

The two newspaper front pages that have been chosen are ‘The Sun’ and ‘The Times’ from Monday 7th November. We would expect both the newspapers to have the same headlines and main stories, however due to the type of paper the main stories are different.

‘The Sun’ is a tabloid newspaper which deals with major stories in a less serious way and often the stories have humorous headlines. ‘The Sun’ also deals with stories from showbiz and celebrities.

‘The Times’ is a broadsheet newspaper which deals with global stories in a formal and serious way. It is also called a quality paper due to the formality of the writing.

Newspapers are written to meet the needs of a target audience, so that there are a variety of different types of newspapers. Some newspapers may use a lot of pictures in their newspapers for readers that prefer to look at pictures and are not very well educated therefore do not enjoy reading long texts. Or some newspapers may use a lot of texts and this would appeal to well educated people who like to be updated with the news around the world. The publisher would try to make the paper as appealing as possible to the chosen audience to increase the circulation of total copies sold daily.

At the top of a newspaper front page there is always a masthead which has the name of the newspaper. ‘The Sun’ has a masthead in the top right-hand corner of the front page and is printed ‘white on red’. ‘The Times’ has a masthead going across the width of the page and is printed ‘black on white’. In between the two words there is an emblem which suggests that this is formal and a traditional British newspaper. Both newspapers have poppies next to the mastheads to respect Remembrance Day.

‘The Sun’ has a colourful masthead to make the newspaper appeal more to people who like visual stimuli. The red on the masthead would stand out when the reader is trying to find a newspaper. Whereas ‘The Times’ has a plain white background with standard black text. This would not really appeal to audiences that prefer to look at pictures. However the emblem next to the masthead may appeal to an audience that like traditional formal newspapers.

The front page of ‘The Sun’ does not have a wide selection of stories for the reader. There is an advert for a ’28-page Super Goals Pullout’ which is focusing on sport. It also shows a headline within the pullout. The main headline on the front page is an opinion of a mother’s view on what she thinks should occur involving the terror law. The last story is about showbiz and celebrities.

‘The Times’ however has a vast selection of stories across the front page. The main story deals with the terrible riots across France. It also has an advert for ’24 pages of pure football’. Then a list of other headlines are listed along the left-hand side of the page. The headlines cover a range of topics that are within the newspaper. The headlines include topics on health, politics and a lot of global news.

By analysing the selection on both newspapers we can see that both newspapers cover sport topics, but there are no other similarities of selection. Whilst observing ‘The Sun’ it was seen that it only covered stories that happened in the United Kingdom and also covered stories about showbiz in a humorous sense. However, ‘The Times’ write a variety of stories that occur globally and also stories about entertainment but in a formal and serious way. From this it can be assumed that ‘The Times’ is meant for readers that prefer to read about a lot of global news in a serious aspect, whereas ‘The Sun’ is for a quick read that isn’t meant to be read to obtain a detailed update of the news.

‘The Sun’ uses an informal main headline to grab the reader’s interest, “Bang ’em up!”. This is very affective because it is short and the words are strong. ‘The Times’ has a formal headline that is informing the audience of what the article is exactly about, “Outrage as Paris burns and French riots spread”. This is not very eye-catching however it is still affective because it gets straight to what is being told in the text. This shows that ‘The Sun’ is written informally and focuses on peoples opinions. On the other hand ‘The Times’ is written formally and is factual.

We found that when the main story on ‘The Sun’s front page was analysed the editor tried to put spin on the text to make the audience feel sympathy for the mother and a sad picture of the mother was also added for extra affect. ‘The Times’ is written as a news report rather than an opinion and is written in formal English. ‘The Times’ also has data to support the report written which may be considered as spin because it may make the reader feel sorrow for the people involved in the riots.

The other stories on ‘The Sun’ are also written in a humorous and informal way “What the frock you got on, Harry?” This again shows that the news in ‘The Sun’ is not for a detailed update of the news. ‘The Times’ however is still formal when writing headlines for other stories included on the front page.

The layout of both newspapers are quite different. Firstly, ‘The Sun’ has a very big picture taking up most of the left hand side of the page and again the headline takes a lot of space. This therefore leaves a very small amount of space for any text to be added to the main story. ‘The Times’ however has three columns underneath the masthead. Although there is a fairly large picture advertising the sports supplement inside, there is still a large headline and a large amount of text about the main story of the day. There is also a summarised contents in the left-hand side column which gives a short summary of the stories inside. This shows that ‘The Sun’ is made for people whom enjoy looking at pictures rather than ‘The Times’ which is for people who enjoy reading.

To sum up it can be concluded by saying after analysing both front pages of the two newspapers it was discovered that both are very different when compared with each other.

It was found that ‘The Sun’ is aimed at people who are less-well educated and enjoy visual stimuli rather than long texts. Hence the simple language used in articles and vast amount of pictures used. ‘The Times’ has a target audience of well-educated people who enjoy reading text more than looking at pictures. This is why there is a lot of text on the front page and not many pictures.

The main difference between the two front pages was that ‘The Sun’ had more pictures and colours to appeal to its audience, and ‘The Times’ had more text and bold headlines to appeal to its readership.

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