American magazine style
I have been given an assignment to compare three different types of newspaper. They are The Mirror, The Times and an American magazine style newspaper, Newsweek. I have to compare these three papers of how they reported on the incident on the 3rd February 1998. A US fighter jet severed the cable of a ski lift in the Italian Alps. The cable car fell to the ground and all 20 passengers were killed immediately. This tragic event was widely reported in the British and the American press. In brief, each newspaper reports on the incident differently. The Mirror firstly, is a tabloid paper so it will have a British theme to it.
By this, I mean that The Mirror will bring British people’s opinions into the incident quite a lot. We can see this from the sub-heading “Brits tell of horror in snow”. The Mirror seems to sensationalise the story, by overreacting to some things. This is used to grab the attention of the reader, and we can see this from the pull quote ” It opened up like a cardboard box. ” The Mirror is clearly a newspaper for less educated, possibly lower class people who read for entertainment. These people are quite different from people who are more educated and higher class who would read a broadsheet newspaper such as The Times.
The Times reports in the incident quite differently from The Mirror. We can tell that the layout is different from the Mirror as well. The target audience for The Times for quite intelligent people who are more literate, as it is more professional than The Mirror. It gives the reader basic facts on the incident to inform the reader quickly so they don’t lose interest. The witnesses and interviewees are more significant than the people interviewed in The Mirror since The Mirror interviews the British public to bring a British theme to the paper.
The Times interviews more professional people such as police officers and rescue workers. Newsweek is the most unusual out of the three reports, as it is a very different style from the other two papers. This report doesn’t actually tell the reader the story, and what it really does is report about how USA and Italy blame each other for the incident and the history of Cavalese, a small town near the incident. Newsweek’s non-specific, passive headline makes you want to read on, because “Blood on the Snow” isn’t precise enough for the reader to get a picture in their mind about the event, unlike The Mirror and The Times.
Newsweek is also more interested in why Italy is blaming America than giving you the story. We can see this from the sub-headline ” Europe questions America’s character”. Also, it assumes that the reader is aware that the incident took place because this piece is written two weeks after the event. It has a limited amount of facts and quotes too. Newsweek sometimes uses vocabulary that British people wouldn’t usually understand for example “hot-dogging” which means when an aircraft almost touches something else when flying, like when you put a sausage in a roll.
Furthermore, Newsweek doesn’t seem to believe the people of Cavalese that jets fly too low to the town, as Newsweek uses ” Some claimed” to emphasise that there is no actual evidence. The three papers use different language and different types of verbs to report on the event. First of all, The Mirror uses descriptive language and many active verbs to describe the incident. Some active verb used are “sliced” and “plunged”. These active verbs standout and impact the reader to grab attention. The Mirror has an unrelated sub-headline. This is so the reader gets the gist of the story and so they don’t have to read the whole thing to get the story.
Straight away, The Mirror notes that it was “an American warplane”, to give them the blame. The Mirror interviews many people and eyewitnesses. Most of the people interviewed were “worried”, “amazed” and “angry”. By mentioning these statements, The Mirror gives us a negative feel towards the Americans. The Mirror is a typical, British, tabloid newspaper and can usually sensationalise the story. It likes to grab the reader’s attention by using big photos and images and by using captions smartly such as “Death Car”. The Mirror is quite informal, friendly and has a comprehensive style.
The Mirror also likes to seeks reactions from the British public and seek personal details as well. We can see because it interviewed a “British couple”. The Mirror enjoys concentrating on people’s feelings, as many were “worried”, “amazed” and “angry”. The Times uses more passive verbs such as “cuts” to report on the incident. “Cuts” doesn’t sound as strong as “sliced”. It uses neutral language, so it is not as emotive as The Mirror. Also, The Mirror only uses direct speech whereas The Times uses a mixture of both types to sound more sophisticated. We can see this from “… the bodies were still being identified.
‘It is a terrible scene of carnage. ‘” The Times doesn’t have a sub-headline, as it expects its readers to read the whole thing. The Times uses photos, pictures and captions like The Mirror, and The Times does this better. It is laid out better and the diagram of when and where the plane hit the cables is more professional looking. The Mirror uses emotive language in its captions but The Times doesn’t. The people interviewed in The Times are a lot more important than people interviewed in The Mirror, as The Times doesn’t want a British theme to it, and it wants to be more sophisticated and professional.
The Times seems to contradict itself about whom to blame about the incident. At first, The Times takes the blame away from the US, as it takes the blame away from the pilot. We can see this from “the pilot … had not realised his aircraft had collided with the ski lift. ” It then blames the US because the visibility was “excellent” said Giorgio Rinaldi, a rescue worker at Cavalese. The Times contradicts itself because it doesn’t want to blame America or Italy, and its wants to give reasons why it could be one of their faults that made the event occur. Compared to The Mirror, The Times is more formal and has a more distant style of writing.
It uses neutral, non-emotive language, typical of a broadsheet newspaper. The Times also tends to concentrate on facts and issues and thoughts of interviewees, which are unnamed to stay neutral. When describing, The Times is well written with vivid language. Immediately, you notice that Newsweek doesn’t have any pictures, photos or captions, and that you need to read the whole thing to get the story. It says that “For years the villagers of Cavalese has griped. ” Newsweek is saying that the people of Cavalese are moaning and groaning by using the word “griped”. It tones down the event by using plain language.
We can see this from “US fighter jet clipped two cables”. This makes it sound like an accident, and it doesn’t use an active verb like “sliced”. Newsweek doesn’t want to blame itself so it obviously blames Italy because “the pilot’s flight plan… had been cleared by Italian authorities. ” Even though Newsweek points out that Americas were in the wrong in some cases, like “The minimum cruising altitude…. in Italy is 500 feet”, in the end, it all adds up and shows that Italy are to blame. Also, Newsweek points out that Italy could be bitter towards the US due to anti-Americanism.
In my opinion, the readers of Newsweek would be quite intelligent and are able to accept opinions of other people. Maybe someone like a lawyer would read it. In conclusion, I feel that the newspaper that reports best on the incident is The Times. I think that it is the most professional newspaper and has the most varied use of language. Its laid out well and the pictures give you a quick view of the event. The Times doesn’t seem to blame either the US or Italy so it is neutral, similar to the language. Its quick headline tells you what happened and makes you want to read on, and as the reporter is in Rome, it sounds more professional.