The first newspapers were written in AD 618. They were hand-written by Chinese scholars. Before newspapers in Europe, news was carried by word of mouth. Most people were illiterate so newspapers were not in great demand. The first European newspaper was printed in Germany in the 1600s. Early newspapers such as these covered a single event in great detail that had occurred months or years before. Early newspapers looked like books. Newspapers were expensive so not many people could afford to buy them so some people rented them for the day.
Newspapers gradually began to be printed more regularly such as the English ‘diurnalls’ in the 1640s. Some early newspapers included ‘The Intelligence’, ‘The Mercury’ and ‘The Coronto’. Newspapers were printed more regularly as events happened and by 1750 there five daily newspapers in London. More and more people were able to read thus newspapers became more popular and more in demand as paper and printing became cheaper. There are three main types of medium these are television, radio and newspapers.
Newspapers are used all over the world as a distinctive medium and have the longest history as a medium. The target audience for this type of medium are readers, whereas the target audience for other media maybe listeners or viewers. Television is probably the most popular medium and is prime media for viewers. Radio is prime media for listeners. Newspapers have a distinctive layout and all use a particular format. These include a front page, bold headlines, important stories are usually nearer to the front, some articles include pictures, and there are distinctive separate sections (e.g. Finance and sport).
Some papers have special versions available on weekends. Most newspapers are sold daily. There are two main types of newspapers in Britain these are tabloids and broadsheets. These both have very different target audiences, different circulation figures and they both target different social economic groups. Tabloids target mainly people who prefer to read more entertaining stories and don’t have a lot of time. They are for people who do not like to read about too many facts and people that have to travel by train and cannot read a broadsheet very easily.
The main tabloids in Britain are The Sun, The Mirror, The Daily Mail and The Express. Broadsheets target generally more professional people who like to spend a lot of time reading and like to find out a lot about stories and read them in depth. The main broadsheets in Britain are The Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Financial Times. Most of these newspapers will cover the same story about a significant event but they write about them in different ways, using different tones (e. g. they may be more bias to one side of the story).
Two different English newspapers and an American magazine have covered the event that I have studied. The newspapers are the tabloid The Mirror and the broadsheet The Times, the magazine is Newsweek. The story the newspapers and magazine have covered occurred on 3rd February 1998 in Italy in the mountain range The Dolomites, a USA marine corps EA-6B prowler jet plane that was flying low cut a cable car wire with it’s wing. The cable car wire was supporting a cable car containing 20 people. The car dropped to the ground and there were no survivors.
The first newspaper article I have read and studied is the broadsheet The Times. The article was printed the day after the incident occurred and was featured quite near the front as an important news event. The article has a typical newspaper layout, it has a main headline for the article, the whole story is summed in the opening paragraph, there are three pictures and there are four columns and it appears quite formal and professional. This article contains three pictures. The first picture is the biggest and it shows the wreckage of the crashed cable car.
This picture would attract attention to the article and could shock the readers it also gives a clear idea of the damage that this incident caused. The second picture is a map of the mountain range in Italy where the event happened to give the reader an idea of where it is and how far or close it is to them. The third picture is a picture of a Marine Corps EA-6B prowler jet alike to the one that cut the cable wire. This picture is used to create a clearer picture if what actually happened. The headline of the article says, ’20 die in cable car after jet cuts wire. ‘
This is a neutral headline showing no bias or blame. The article says just ’20’ instead of saying something like 20 ‘people’ to make the headline quite short and so it doesn’t become too emotional and remains informative. The word ‘die’ is also used so that it does not point a finger at anyone, and it sounds like their deaths were accidental. This article uses the language to create shock and fear in the first paragraph when it says, ‘Twenty people fell three hundred feet to their deaths” This could frighten people as it could get the reader to relate to the people and imagine how terrified they were.
This would be especially frightening to people that are afraid of heights. Some of the language used emphasises the tragic impact of the wreckage, ‘The smashed bright yellow cable car ended crumpled on the tree lined snow on Mount Cermis. ‘ This quotation shows quite an effective way of showing how horrific the site of this wrecked cable car would have been. A lot of the language in this article is mainly quite informative, “The US plane was part of the Nato force patrolling the skies over Bosnia and was on a routine training flight. ”
This is because broadsheets like The Times target people who want to know about the event in detail. The language manages to tell the facts and keep a mutual tone with out placing blame on anybody as it tells both sides o the story by including quotes from American and Italian officials. The purpose of this article is to inform the readers of this disastrous event. It is not biased and tells the bare facts with little of the writer’s opinion included. The article includes many different quotes from different people and shows opinions from most points of view, which were involved.
It hears what the locals have to say about this incident, and what the US officials who are having a hard time about this have to say about it. The target audience for this article is well-educated adults who like to know a lot about events in depth. The next newspaper article I have studied is from the tabloid ‘The Mirror’. This newspaper seemed to have more of an emotional impact in it. This article was also featured near to the front with the important news. This article like The Times’ also has a distinctive layout. Unlike the Times this article’s lay out is used to be more attractive, it is very bold and stands out.
This article also has four columns but there are more paragraphs, as they are much shorter. This article also has three pictures. The first picture is the smallest and is a photograph of a cable car alike to the one that crashed. Underneath it is captioned ‘DEATH CAR: 300ft plunge’ I think it uses this picture and the caption as a dark pun instead of calling it a cable car it calls it a ‘death car’ and basically tells the reader about the article in this one caption. Creating interest in the article and makes the reader want to read on.
The second picture is the largest and shows the wreckage of the cable car. It is captioned ‘DEVASTATION’. It uses this to sum up the feeling of this terrible crash in the picture adding to the emotional impact in this article. I think the article uses this picture to attract attention and interest in it and makes the reader want to find out more of what happened. The third picture is a simple cartoon of what actually happened, I think this is included so that the reader has a really clear idea of what happened and does not need to depend only on their imagination as much.