When reading different newspapers, one might come across two similar articles. These articles bring the same news, but they are all written in another way. The same news. This is often the case with social media platforms such as Facebook. The problem is hard to change. Especially because of this: there is another great source of misleading information: Tabloid newspapers. The papers try to make their story as sensational as possible in every way they can. The effect of this is that people’s images get shifted. They can get wrong or exaggerated views on topics, which causes a lot of trouble. To show how Tabloid papers effect the news, we will take one subject on both a tabloid and a broadsheet paper. We took the article about Khalid Masood, the London attacker, on both The Telegraph and The Daily Sun.
Something remarkable can already be seen in the headline: The Sun’s headline tries to grab attention and worry the reader. The paper achieves this by using worrying terms and sentences, combined with a layout that screams for attention. The Sun makes use of a title, a subtitle and blue text in front of the title, which you could see as a third title. This blue heading says: “THE FACE OF A KILLER”. The use of colour and capitals is intended to make the text stand out. Meanwhile, the Telegraph has a standard looking and formal title and doesn’t exaggerate its seriousness. The Sun has also used their text to attract and worry the reader: “London terror attacker Khalid Masood is pictured in first police handout after photos emerge of him as football-mad schoolboy Adrian Ajao.” and for the subtitle: “The killer claimed the lives of four people in the horrific attack on Westminster Bridge.” All these terms are purposely used to worry the reader and make him/her feel like he/she should read the rest of the article. The telegraphs title: “First picture of Khalid Masood reveals how he went from football-loving teenager to London attacker” is very different. It does include the worrying term ‘London attacker’, but this is only necessary to know what the article is about. Furthermore, it doesn’t have extra titles nor other attention-grabbing details.
Another thing that the sun does to worry the reader is the underlining of certain sentences: “48 hours after he unleashed horror attack on Westminster.”, “…stabbing a man in the face…”, “Killed a police officer” and numerous more. All of these sentences are underlined to draw attention. They all contain heavy details and facts to attract the reader. In contrast, the Telegraph keeps it’s layout more plain. It does, however, underline some pieces of text, like: “Khalid Masood”, “Police finally admitted on Thursday night that Masood was not his birth name, adding to mystery about why his real name Adrian Elms was being withheld.”, “raided by anti-terror police following the attack.” and some others. The difference is that the Telegraph doesn’t underline text for attention, but rather for extra information. All of these pieces of text in the article are links to other articles that dig deeper into the described subject.
The exaggeration is clearly visible in the text. When you start reading the Sun at any point, it will only take you a maximum of three sentences to find an example of exaggeration or added sensation. “But the young man, who was born on Christmas Day, later changed his name to Khalid Masood – even becoming known as “the vampire” for wearing black as he stalked the streets at night.” This sentence portrays Khalid Masood as a legend, with a peculiar and interesting back-story like every legend has. Having a nickname ‘The Vampire’ is a perfect example to show the exaggeration and added sensation. The Telegraph doesn’t do this. It just states facts, like: “Masood was born Adrian Elms and used the name Adrian Ajao, his stepfather Philip’s surname during his school years.” This is purely objective and factual.
Also, The Sun and The Telegraph seem to have differing opinions on some of their facts. And this while facts are one of the only things that can’t be different from perception. An example is in here:
“I remember he came to a new year’s party at my house but he was with a group of lads who were drunk and on something and my parents asked them to leave,” said Tills (Source: Guardian)
I remember he came to a New Year’s party at my house but he was with a group of lads who were drunk and on something and my parents asked them to leave. After that we sort of lost touch. (Source: Telegraph)
“We used to socialise together up until we left school but he turned up to a party at my house with some friends after they had been smoking puff [cannabis] and my mum threw them all out. We sort of lost touch after that.” (Source: Sun)
It couldn’t be more clear: The Guardian and the Telegraph both state the exact same information, while the sun makes up its own exaggerated story. In this case, it doesn’t have a great effect in the world. It is a different story if, just before the presidential elections, it would have been said that Donald Trump had smoked for the man. One such small sentence could have caused America to have a different president! This great influence shouldn’t be played with or lied about!
In conclusion, there are a lot of forms of news which aren’t as factual as you might think. Even some newspapers commit to objectiveness. If we don’t take care, we could be heading into a lot of trouble and fights, while they are unnecessary. So watch out for your sources, how much you believe them and how active you are in discussing the matters you read about. After all, we don’t want a made-up world, we want the real
Author: Rick van de Sande – Freaders