Comparing coverage in two different Newspapers Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:24:05
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The incident covered in the two articles I have studied was a train fire in the Austrian ski resort of Kaprun on Saturday 11th November 2000. The first article I looked at was in the tabloid paper the Sunday Express. The second article I looked at was in the broadsheet paper the Observer. The two articles were very similar but had some differences. Both the articles emphasised that British people were among those that had died. The Sunday Express said Britons among 170 victims and The Observer said Britons among 170 dead The Observer also stated that children died Children among victims.

Although both articles covered the same subject and seemed to emphasise the greatness of the tragedy, they had different approaches, The Sunday Express article was sensationalist and over emotive ¦ inferno as it tore through carriages The Observers article was a calmer and more concise report ¦ and, within a few minutes, almost everyone on board was dead. The articles both contained similar factual information. In the Article in the Sunday Express, facts were intertwined with opinions and emotive language. ¦ engulfing tourists in temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Centigrade.

The Observer had some emotive language but seemed to keep the facts separate ¦ which reached temperatures of more than 1,000 C The only discrepancy between the two articles was over the initial cause of the fire. The Sunday Express interviewed a cable car technical expert Klaus Einsenkolb. He said¦ that either a short circuit in the batteries or the possibility that someone had started it with a naked flame was more likely, This was their only reference to the cause of the fire. The Observer had many different statements about the cause of the fire.

Yesterdays fire is believed to have started¦after one of the cables that pull the train up the mountain snapped, apparently starting the blaze They also had a statement from the local company Gletscherbahn Kaprun who owned the train. Due to a fire in the tunnel there was a shorting in the electrical circuit, consequently causing the train¦ to catch fire. They also interviewed Klaus Einsenkolb, but stated nothing about his opinions of what caused the fire as in The Sunday Express. Both articles used similar language, but The Sunday Express used more emotive variations of language to put across the same point.

The Sunday Express said ¦ the harrowing task today of identifying 170 young skiers burned alive The Observer stuck to the facts, however, some sensationalist language was used. ¦ 170 people were killed yesterday when a fire¦ engulfed an Austrian funicular train The Sunday Express sensationalised the incident by using words like inferno and disaster repeatedly throughout their report. This created a mood in the article, expressing how terrible this tragedy was. Despite The Observer being a broadsheet paper, their article also used this type of language, such as inferno and tragedy.

I think this also was used to create the mood. The underlying feeling in The Observers report was that this incident could have been prevented or its consequences reduced, had their been adequate safety measures and better maintenance. ¦ Manfred Muller, security director for the railway, admitted that there had been no emergency fire fighting equipment in the tunnel, or on the train The journalists use of admitted in this sentence supports his views that safety precautions were inadequate. After reading this article the reader was left with the impression it was just a terrible accident.

Yesterdays disaster was the second tragedy to hit Kitzsteinhorn this year. ¦ announced a criminal investigation into the tragedy. No blame seemed to be pointed at anyone in this article. The Sunday Express article contained many interviews and comments from people involved with the incident. Most of the people interviewed were officials linked with the accident, like Norbert Karlsboeck, the town mayor of Kaprun, and Franz Schausberger the Salzburg governor. Mr Karlsboeck said: I did not realise the full extent of the catastrophe Salzburg governor Franz Schausberger said: I have declared a day of mourning.

We can presume that everyone still on board the train is dead. They were commenting on their feelings about the incident. Klaus Eisenkolb, a cable car technician who worked on the planning of the line was also interviewed and spoke of what he thought about the occurrence of this incident and what could have possibly caused it. One witness and one survivor were also quoted. The Observer had fewer people interviewed, but had interviews with relatives and witnesses. They also had a statement from the company who owned the train, Gletscherbahn Kaprun, who commented on their feelings about this incident.

In a statement, the company said: We and the whole town of Kaprun are in mourning. An unidentified man whose son had gone skiing that day, and a deacon were also interviewed. This gave the article a more personal feel, as the reader felt that they could relate to the people whos lives had been affected by this and so understand the tragedy better. The layout of these reports was very different. Article I had a large bold headline on the front cover saying INFERNO in capital letters, to draw peoples attention. There was also a large illustration of one of the survivors with a caption.

There was then a double page spread. On the first side of the double spread was a pull quote in large bold letters Theres no hope left, the fumes were just terrible next to another illustration of a survivor with a caption. This would also get peoples attention; the reader may look at the pictures and then want to read on. Under the title was a diagram of the mountainside with text pointing out where the events took place. This was quite easy to understand and gave the basic information. Inside that diagram was another diagram showing where Kaprun was in context to Austria and then to the rest of Europe.

The text was in columns around these illustrations. The double page was split into three blocks of text, an individual report started on the second page written by Greg Swift, a continuance of the first article by David Dillon, and then an additional report: Rising tide of Alpine tragedies. The Observer had a medium sized headline Inferno in the Alps in bold letters. Underneath was a large illustration of a survivor (the same as in article 1) with a caption. The article was started with two large bullet points, which would grab the readers attention.

There was then a tiny diagram of where in Austria the incident took place, and where it was in relation to Europe. The article was again written in columns. It then too went to a double page. The headline on this double page A couple of breaths and they were lost was also a pull quote, keeping the readers attention. There was a block of pictures with quotes in the top centre of the pages showing the rescue team, survivors and their families, and the train. This was really effective. The block of pictures would really attract the readers attention, urging them to read the article.

There was a large diagram showing a picture of the mountainside and where the tunnel was, and then a diagram of the actual train, showing in steps what happened and when. This diagram was very clear, showing exactly what happened in an easily understandable way. The double page was again split into sections of text. There was the main report by Denis Staunton, and then two smaller reports. One was by Jason Burke telling how former British Olympic skier Martin Bell feared that some of his friends could have been on the train.

This linked the incident back to this country and how it affected people here. The other was by Anthony Browne, talking of worries over how many recent tragic accidents have occurred in the Alps. I think that the article that explained what happened and suggested the full horror of this incident more effectively was the article from The Observer. I felt that the way in which it was written managed to create a balance between putting across the facts but still expressing the horror of the tragedy. I think because the facts were not clouded with opinions, they were easier to understand.

I thought that the double page spread was particularly effective. The pictures were clearer and attracted the readers attention. The diagram on the double page was very clear and easy to understand. It showed exactly what happened in stages, with information about the mountain and the tunnel. I also thought that the headline Inferno in the Alps on the front page was really effective. It gave enough information for you to know what had happened but was short enough for the reader to read at a glance.

I felt that The Sunday Express article was more difficult to understand as there were fewer facts and the writing was very opinionated. Also because there were fewer interviews with people who were directly affected by the incident, such as survivors, and relatives of victims, it wasnt as easy to relate to that article. There was less text in general, as much of the space was taken up by large illustrations and headlines. Although the articles seemed to be similar they had differences which although may not be drastically apparent I felt they made a big difference to the effectiveness and success of the articles.

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