Target readership

‘Compare how two newspapers have presented the news to appeal to their target readership’ The two newspapers I will be comparing are ‘The Daily Telegraph’, a broadsheet and ‘The Sun’, a tabloid. Each front cover provides the same leading story and have presented their news in two different ways in order to appeal to their very different readership. The masthead, the title of the newspaper, which appears in large type at the top of the page, reflects the two paper’s styles. The Daily Telegraph is calligraphic, with a more sophisticated font than The Sun’s red top, which is plain and bold.

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The Daily Telegraph’s main front cover story has five stories. The main headline is highlighted in bold, standing out amongst the other stories. It has a lower capital text than The Sun, giving the story a more subtle and formal tone, for a more serious angle of opinion. This indicates that it is targeted to more educated readers, possibly to an older or family orientated generation, because of the amount of information provided Unlike the Sun’s main headline, which occupies the majority of the front page. It has just two other stories and the text is much larger (about text size 11). This makes it easier to read, including the first sentence appearing in bold. Besides the headline, pictures dominate the front page, appealing to the younger generation as if shown as a picture story.

The leading story pictures, in both newspapers, are both small and of the same woman, although The Sun’s picture has no caption. This is probably because the text is so simple, that it’s clear who the woman appears to be. On the other hand, The Daily Telegraph’s picture, includes an explanatory caption, as there is much more text. The other picture included on the front cover of The Daily Telegraph, is a large picture, dominating a lot of the front cover but is the secondary story. It seems the picture would attract more attention as it is emotive and would have a big impact on the newsagents shelf to catch the readers eye more than the small title of ‘Rowers reunion: Fogle and Cracknel tell how they nearly drowned’.

Compared to the main headline of ‘System let 88 sex offenders escape ban on teaching’, the secondary story does not seem as dramatic, except for ‘nearly drowned’, so in order to attract attention, the secondary story has included a large emotive picture. The shorter main headline of The Sun, ‘150 paedos in your schools’, addresses the reader directly and may create panic, enticing the reader to read more.

The term paedos instead of paedophiles shows a demeaning openly negative opinion of sex offenders. This may encourage public over reaction. There is a large discrepancy between the figures quoted, of 88 compared to 150. This suggests that The Daily Telegraph portrays a smaller, more accurate and precise figure than The Sun, which has allegedly exaggerated a higher and more rounded figure, which is more shocking to the readership and creates sensation.

The double meaning of ‘Kelly hit by new bombshell’ draws the reader to the story and also creates sensationalism. The other stories on the Daily Telegraph are much smaller and are positioned at the bottom of the front cover, with headlines about health and another minor story. This widens the variety of stories, advice and facts, putting the most dramatic of them all first in order to attract immediate attention.

In The Sun the two other secondary stories are at the right hand side of the front cover in a wider column with very minimal information but entices the reader to turn the pages to read more. The first is about a celebrity footballers girlfriend presenting the Lottery, bringing an interest to those who are into ‘celeb gossip’. The second is also about a football celebrity and would appeal to those who are into sports; particularly men. The stereotypical reader, I suggest, is a working class male football fan who enjoys a rant.

The daily Telegraph, on the other hand, may appeal to middle class, educated and more family orientated readership. It provides a more reassuring and more balanced opinion with more detailed information. Stories about ‘Brighter babies for women who eat fish’, appealing to families who may be health and diet conscious and the more sensational smaller headline ‘Catholic priest, 73, has son by lover 31’ enticing the reader to open the pages to read more.

The adverts displayed on the two newspapers, also known as teasers, show a reflection of the different readerships. For example, The Daily Telegraph appeals to the older generation, those who eat out in restaurants and those who drive cars. In comparison, The Sun’s adverts appeal to celebrity and gossip cravers, lottery addicts and football fans. The pictures of celebrities indicate that the newspaper’s stories are focusing more on the famous than the reader. Whilst the adverts in The Daily Telegraph, relate more to the reader’s quality of life, rather than focusing on celebrity’s grand lives.

In conclusion, both newspapers provide a satisfying read for their target readership, and in my opinion, grab the attention of both the educated, older and more family orientated of The Daily Telegraph and the celebrity/football-loving, sensational, panic provoking, educationally challenged reader, provided by The Sun. I think, the poor credibility and reputation of The Sun, is a vast difference to that of The Daily Telegraph, which appears to provide more and accurate newsworthiness.