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This essay will compare and state the differences between 3 reports that all appeared in the “Straits Times”, Singapore’s leading newspaper, on Friday the 15th November 2002. They each article is about Saddam Hussein or the political situation between the United States and Middle Eastern countries. The essay will point out similarities or differences in aspects such as language, structure, layout and target groups. The first article is titled, “Arabs relieved at Baghdad’s acceptance”.

The second article is titled, “An offer Saddam could not refuse” and the third article is titled, “Tough yet flexible, he’s the right man”. The first and most obvious comparison between these three articles is that they all have a graphic, bearing the words “SIGHTS ON SADDAM”. The ‘O’ in the graphic is the shape of a guns crosshair. This feature is put onto these articles so that the reader can have a good idea or enable people to identify what the article will be about. The Straits Times uses this graphic whenever they write an article about Saddam or the political situation in Iraq.

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On each article the graphic is situated in the middle of the two columns of text. The text continues around the graphic. Underneath the graphic is the by-line and on “Arabs relieved at Baghdad’s acceptance” there is a quote instead of a by-line. Another feature common to the articles layout is the way the headline is set out. There is an initial headline, giving a vague description of the article, then underneath there is a slightly smaller and more informative description of what the article is about. Then underneath that the actual article starts.

A third obvious comparison between the three articles is their layout of the text. On each one, the text is in two thin columns, with each line in the column having around 5 words on it. The articles all have a political nature, and due to this certain people in certain groups, such as C2, D and E may not be inclined to read those articles, but the use of short lines and a one idea in each paragraph technique, a less educated or a reader with a shorter concentration span would be able to read the articles without much trouble.

The sentences are usually short and across all three articles there is a lack of complex or compound sentences. The articles are in a Singaporean newspaper but because Singapore is an expatriate country, the articles may have been written for the American audience rather then for the Muslim or Arab population. That would explain the one sided views that are usually put across from articles in the Straits Times especially regarding things going on in the rest of the world.

The articles are not at the beginning of the paper, they are in the ‘world’ section and they are fairly close together, some of them on opposite pages. The articles have been grouped because it is easier for the reader to have all the articles in one area and they will not be annoyed at having to search through the paper for an article. The front page of the newspaper has a puff on it saying the name of an article and a picture of Saddam so that the readers will know that the paper contains information about Saddam and Iraq

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