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Essay/Term paper: News and newspapers

Essay, term paper, research paper:  History Essays

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News and Newspapers


News is simply delineated as "a report of a recent event; something one
has not heard of before"(Websters, 282). Conceding that it is inelaborate in
its definition, news is much more intricate as it succumbs to corporate
moneymaking ideologies. The corporate essence of news is prevalent in the form
of the newspaper "a paper published periodically for circulating news" that is
sold therefore making news a business. In business the saying goes that the
customer is always right making news subject to the demands of these consumers.
The underlying purpose of news is to "provide facts upon which decisions are
based" (Mencher, 56). Yet this purpose is tainted to accommodate the newspapers
need to sell papers. Journalism is the work of gathering news, therefore
making the journalist succumb to the corporate needs of the newspaper. The
three major newspapers of Toronto (Toronto Sun, Toronto Star and The Globe &
Mail) discord in their journalistic techniques for the purpose of selling their
produc t.

"News is more often made rather than gathered. And it is made on the basis of
what the journalist thinks is important or what the journalist thinks the
audience thinks is important" (Postman, 14).

The Toronto Sun focuses on the audience that yearns for entertainment
and adjuts its word selection and choice of articles to accommodate this need
for entertainment. The glitz and glamour of today's celebrities provide a
fantasy world in which the reader can escape. The Toronto Sun leaves no stone
uncovered as it stays on top of celebrity issues to accommodate their audience "
the average Joe' with entertainment. "Michael Jackson's wife gave birth to a
baby boy yesterday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center" (T.Sun Feb. 18/97) in the
article titled Oh Baby, Jacko to be a dad soon. What makes this article more
ominous than any other birth other than that it is entertaining to the star
crazed general public? Hundreds Get To Eye Claudia the so called 'superbabe' as
she "breezes her way into The Bay's downtown Yonge St. Store"(T. Sun Feb. 25/97).
"Up to five hundred people waited for up to two hours for a glimpse of the
famed beauty and to hear her speak"(T. Sun Feb. 25/97). Imagine how many looked
in the Sun for the article. The article choices of the Sun have a direct
affiliation to the need for it as a business to provide entertainment for its
culled audience.

The Toronto Star is a family oriented newspaper and focuses on community
issues that relate to a vast number of people. The Star's audience are the
family type people who desire local news and emotional stories. The April 3/97
article Woman Searching For Trucker Who Was Her Highway Savior elucidates a
human triumph tale meant for the whole family as "nine month pregnant Tanya
Aubert was guided to her safety by a trucker after her windshield was smashed on
the 400 highway"(T.Star April 3/97). The Star incorporates many emotion filled
phrases to augment the neighborly sense of the article.

"I was not hurt, just very scared and my heart was racing" the journalist quoted
with hopes of bringing a tear to the reader's eye. The exclusive coverage of
this article shows the Star appealing to the family it's audience.

The Globe and Mail is a business person's newspaper that directs its
articles mainly to fact and figures as well as cold serious issues. The Globe
and Mail creates a very solemn sense to its article through 50 dollar words and
abrupt, to the point headlines. The April 3/97 article Adult Drug Deaths
Decline suggests no imagery or entertainment value in its title. The article
proceeds with factual information "131 deaths from drug related causes in 1995
was the lowest of the century" (G & M. April 3/97) with proof from various
sources such as the Toronto Public Health Department and Dr. Joyce Bernstein.
The article is accommodated by both its factual nature and the use of grave
sounding words and phrases, "cautious optimism" and "key findings." The
corporate world is a very serious place and the Globe and Mail provide for that
need.

"o matter how accurate, properly attributed, balanced, fair, objective or
compassionate a story is the reader will not read it unless there is writing
skill" (Mencher 51).

Pertaining to writing skills it is the consignment of the reporter to
use and manipulate words in order to try to reenact the events in an compelling
fasion. The Toronto Star on Feb. 13/97 described the medical condition of Guy
Paul Morin's head as a "goose egg." The Toronto Sun Feb. 13/97 described the
same mark as "crescent shaped." The Globe & Mail described the same mark as a "
lump in the middle of his forehead." As displayed above subordinate to the
purpose of the article different journalistic techniques are used to adorn an
event. The Toronto Star's "goose egg" description relayed a purpose of satire
mocking the bump. Mocking the bump allowed the event to be taken more
blithesomely by the family audience. The Sun's "crescent shaped mark"
description illustrated a purpose of diluting the severity of the event by
calling it a mark making it more entertaining than serious. The Globe and
Mail's description "lump in the middle of the forehead" conveyed the purpose of
being veritable and analytical by not making any implications.

Purpose, as it applies to journalism is relevant to what is included in
the article and largely influences who purchases the newspaper. On April 2/97
all three of the major Toronto newspapers reported on a fatal shooting incident.
The Globe and Mail's entitled article Officer Involved in Fatal Shooting Had
Wife Along emphasized the wife being along " most police forces including Metro,
permit ride alongs, although the ride alongs must be authorized and are usually
restricted to low risk operations" (G & M April 2/97) . This point of view
implicated the legal elements or figures of the story and gave a factual
analization. The Sun's article entitled Cop-Shooting Victim Foiled Deportation
took the side of the officer by outlining his personal life, "Scarbrough father
of and 18 month old son" (T. Sun April 2/97) and then passed blame by
resurrecting his past "In April, 1993, Shank-then a rookie-shot and killed Ian
Clifford Coley, 21, after a foot chase into a Scarborough backyard" (T. Sun
April 2/97). The sun creates a controversy by presenting these two standpoints,
in turn making an entertaining mystery of the whole ordeal. The Toronto Star's
article Police At Fatal Shooting Scene Hold 2 Meetings, Sources Say describes
the so called "victim's' families reaction "why would he struggle with all these
officers around? You can't fight the police and my brother knows that" (T. Star
April 2/97). The implication of family in this article attempts to make an
association with the family orientated reader. These three articles all
illustrate that depending on the purpose of the journalist different techniques
of journalism are used to accommodate the respective journalistic purpose.

The quality of news is reliant on its clarity. "Clarity of News is
reliant on how journalists relate it to human interest through journalistic
technique" (Mencher 50). The catastrophic diminishing of blood supply on April
2/97 is reported by Toronto's three major newspapers, with vivid use of human
interest in accordance to the characteristics of their readers. The Toronto
Sun's article Blood supply At a Critical Low creates human interest through
drama allowing for entertainment as well. The injured parties entrance to the
hospital "He had massive injuries and required massive blood transfusions,
Boulanger said of the man who arrived with severe chest and abdomen bleeding and
a crushed foot that had to be amputated"(Sun April 2/97) was dramatized through
descriptive vocabulary such as massive, severe and crushed also allowing the
event to be visualized and made entertaining. The Toronto Star's article
Hospital's Blood Stock Almost Exhausted contains human interest through its
ability to show the community working together "Although other hospital blood
banks were also short of blood, the Toronto Hospital and St. Michael's Hospital
agreed to send blood to Sunnybrook by taxi if needed" (T. Star April 2/97). The
aspect of community togetherness provokes human interest and complies with the
Star's general theme of family. The Globe and Mail article Toronto Desperate
For Blood roused human interest thorough community togetherness "in case the
patient required more blood than was on hand the hospital contacted the Red
Cross society and two other hospitals to ensure a continued supply." This
articles illustration of human interest is moderated through the exclusion of
the agreement of the two hospital's to provide more blood even though they were
low. Instead the article stuck strictly to the facts that the Globe's readers
pay for.

Realistically, the sale of newspapers is the primary objective of the
journalist illustrated through their use of techniques. Journalistic content and
techniques vary according to the audience towards which the newspaper directs
its attention.

 

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