The newspaper report I am analysing was published in the Daily Mail on Wednesday 29th December 1999. It is about a man named Steven Parr who was brutally attacked and beaten by a gang of youths, whilst walking his dog, for trying to be public spirited and stop damage to a phone box which was been vandalised at the time. This newspaper report has used various writing techniques to develop this story into a full-page report.
To develop the report on Steven Parr the reporter (Ben Taylor) has managed to link the headline with the picture, he has achieved this by writing a headline that catches the reader’s attention, then by placing a three quarter page picture of Steven Parr in the centre of the report directly underneath the headline, Taylor draws your attention to the brutality of the attack, and creates a certain amount of sympathy towards Steven Parr, which makes you want to read on and find out exactly how Steven Parr got the dreadful injuries which we are shown.
The language of the report is also used to influence and shape the readers opinion, this is done through emotive language where certain words manage to stir up readers emotions, for instance the word “thug” which is used in the headline makes you think of the attackers as young violent people. This technique however would be useless if we were not given the sufficient factual information to make us feel extreme anger and shock at what happened, so Taylor has given us enough information about Steven Parr to see he was just a “run of the mill” father of two, who intervened where he felt appropriate.
Taylor also used emotive language to describe the attackers; he calls them vandals and animals to make them sound more dangerous and more of a menace to society. In the report we are given all sorts of details about the incident which has taken place, We are told Mr Parr a fifty-one year old engineer from Cambridge, was left with a broken jaw, a detached retina and a fractured hand, after his run in with the thugs. We are made to feel more outrage against what has happened after we are told he has two children which paints the picture of him been a family man.
In this report Steven Parr’s fifty-year-old wife Jennifer is named as well as his seventy three year old cousin Dennis. These two members of his family were quoted in the report. His cousin Dennis said, “he would always step in to help the rights and defend the property of others”, which also gives the reader another perspective on the bravery of Steven Parr, it also backs up the readers feelings of Steven Parr been a middle aged defenceless victim.
Who was himself quoted on his regrets about interfering. Taylor has also included the reaction of Jack Straw the home secretary. Mr Straw mentions how the up most should be done to prevent crimes of this calibre. These comments add a real weight to the report and a feeling that something should be done due to Mr Straw’s position in government and his initials feelings to the incident.
The report ends in a question mark which is made to be a direct challenge to the reader, this is a technique which involves the readers opinions into the story. My final conclusion of the report is that Taylor has made good use of the various writing techniques available to him, like emotive language, and detailed accounts of what happened. But at the end of the day I cant still help but feel that Steven Parr should of thought a moment longer before jumping in to save a “telephone box”.