University of Belgrano - B. A.

in English English in the Media

Course: Module: Student:

BA in English English in the Media Ana Laura Bozzani

Essay question:

Analyse any differences in triggers, frames and messages in a news story in the media. How do you account for these differences? A brief look at readership’s orientation in UK newspapers.

Title:

Lecturer: Date due:

Douglas Andrew Town 24th April, 2004

Bozzani, Ana Laura

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University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media
Introduction “Any writer attributes to the ideal reader of his/her text certain knowledge, beliefs, educational background and ideas so that it is aimed at this target reader´s needs.” (Pagano:1994:258) Therefore, newspapers that are more reader- oriented tend to have higher readership. That is, newspapers that make a point of learning as much as they can about their reading customers and acting on such knowledge, see positive results in higher circulation bearing in mind that the readers are the primary focus.(http: www.readership.org) But to what extent should the reader be the primary focus for a journalist bearing in mind the Journalist´s Code of Ethics? It is the purpose of this paper to cast light on what kind of influence the reader exerts on the journalist’s account of hard news related to a popular person. For the purpose of this cross-sectional analysis of the same news published by different newspapers, I will focus on only English newspapers to limit my study to a part of this society. And once I have provided some background information, I will deal with the analysis in terms of frame, underlying message, language and style. Background While circulation refers to the number of sold, reduced price and free copies of a title distributed on an average day over a stated period of time, readership is related to the number of people reading a title on average over the same stated period. Not only is it vital for a newspaper to know the amount of its readership but also some of its characteristics including demographic factors with social grade as well as age. A brief description of the grades used in this kind of survey is as follows:

Bozzani, Ana Laura

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University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media
Social Grade Social Status CIE's Occupation A Upper Middle Class Higher managerial, administrative or professional B Middle Class Intermediate managerial, administrative or professional C1 Lower Middle Class Supervisory, junior managerial, administrative or professional C2 Skilled Working Class Skilled manual workers D Working Class Semi and unskilled manual workers E Those at the lowest levels of subsistence State pensioners or widows (no other earner), casual or lowest grade workers Bozzani, Ana Laura

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University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media
·Social Grade is determined by the occupation of the Chief Income Earner (CIE) in each household. (http://www.nmauk.co.uk/nma/do/live/factsAndFigures) Having these concepts in mind as well as the journalist´s main objective that is ¨to seek the truth and report it¨( http://www.spj.org/ethics_code.asp), I will analyse some articles reporting on Beckham´s affair with his former personal assistant Rebecca Loos. The purpose will be to discover each newspaper’s message, how it was conveyed and why. Analysis 1. The Guardian 1.1. Demographic profile of the readership According the National Readership Survey (N.R.S., http://www.nrs.co.uk) most of the readers of this newspaper are between 35 and 54 years old and belong to AB social grades. 1.2. Frame and underlying message of the article The article is written around a conjecture frame due to a speculation of what is to happen to this soccer player’s brand image “Could prove...” “raise speculation on...” , “ is unlikely to end quickly..” and “ will disappoint...”are expressions that contribute to this. The underlying message is that of distrustfulness to how the tabloid the News of the World got the information: “The Beckham camp suggested yesterday that the PR consultant Max Clifford, a man with an unsurpassed record in orchestrating tabloid exposes, was behind the story ...and it is understood that Ms Loos has done a six- figure deal with the newspaper”( Appendix 1, paragraphs 12 and 13) as well as most of the tabloids manipulation of the information which will not only “dent his unimpeachable reputation” but also his earnings from endorsing “numerous companies” and “his own merchandising operation”. There could be a relationship between the newspaper’s readers and the message since most of them would be doubtful as regards this tabloid´s news release due to the anonymous source.

1.3. Language and Style Bozzani, Ana Laura 4

University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media
Most of the language used (see yellow highlights in Appendix 1) is very formal “outright allegations...” “his conduct remained exemplary...” and business-like “earns”, “marketable” since most of the readers are working professionals for whom this is part of their every-daylanguage and life. It is also worth mentioning that in terms of grammar, the journalist had a preference for passive voice (see green highlights in Appendix 1) because it requires more elaboration, it makes the text more formal and emphasizes “what occurred or was said” rather than “ who said it” due to the uncertainty and conjecture about this news release. Another reason could be the reader’s likelihood to use this structure at work either in reports, analysis, procedures, and the like. 2. The Times 2.1. Demographic profile of the readership As regards the information obtained by the National Readership Survey (N.R.S), most readers are over 55 years old belonging to AB and C1 social grades 2.2. Frame and underlying message of the article The frame of the article published by The Times is one of conflict. “ Beckham was confronted by Mrs. Beckham after allegations were printed in a Sunday newspaper”. There is also conflict between Beckham and his former driver, Ms Loos as well as her brother. The story is built with a well-balanced series of quotes from people contributing with different points of views to the same event, namely Beckham, his sponsors, his father, his former driver and Ms Loos´ brother. Since the target reader of the Times may be a person who might be retired, there is not so much detail about Beckham´s business. On the contrary, the article offers an objective list of comments and interpretation of the rumours spread to keep the reader informed and let him reach his/her own conclusions. Therefore, the underlying message is that of realism due to the clear account of what everybody thinks, and the fact that “Beckham was given a compassionate leave”, that sponsors stated that “there would be no change in their business relations”, and that anyone could be facing these kinds of allegations (i.e. this is life).

2.3. Language and Style Bozzani, Ana Laura 5

University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media
Considering that the reader’s social grade of the Times is the same as the Guardian’s, there are some similarities with the latter as regards formal language “issued a statement”, “he was given a compassionate leave” as well as the use of passive voice (see green highlights in Appendix 2) for the same purposes previously stated. Nevertheless, there is also some informal vocabulary in the quotes from Beckham “ I have two special kids” and from Ms Loos´ brother “my sister may be branded as a marriage-wrecker”, which balances the use of both formal and informal register. 3. The Mirror 3.1. Demographic profile of the readership In terms of social grade, a wide amount of the readership belongs to the grades C2 and DE and as regards age most of them are over 65 years old. 3.2. Frame and underlying message of the article The article is built around a conflict frame. The main conflict is that one of Beckham vs. the rumours of his affair, thus the headline reads “its Utterly Ludicrous”(Appendix 3). The underlying message could be summarised as fatalism, Beckham won’t be saved and they get what they deserve since the last paragraph consists of only one sentence “ The News of the World said it stood by its story “100 per cent”, which could be interpreted as there is no way out. 3.3. Language and Style

Bozzani, Ana Laura

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University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media
One remarkable feature of the article is its irony when referring to Mr and Mrs Beckham with comments in brackets “ludicrous allegations”, she was said to be “shaken and tearful”. It is clear that the journalist oriented her article to the newspaper target reader because of her choice of informal language “she was stony-faced”, “he called the affair a load of bull***t”(see highlights in Appendix 3), her preference for narrative tenses such as simple past, past progressive or perfect and the continuous repetition of some concepts throughout the article so as to remind the “elderly” and “retired” reader what the focus is: “Explicit text messages”, “sensational lover”, “they made love for hours”, “she may be branded as a marriage wrecker”. Furthermore, this is the only article where there is a clarification of what Ms Beckham does for a living (i.e. “she is an ex-Spice Girl) because the reader may not be familiar with this band. 4. The Sun 4.1. Demographic profile of the readership According to the NRS, the age of the readers ranges from 15 to 34-year-old people who belong to the C 2 and DE social grades. 4.2. Frame and underlying message of the article Both the frame and the underlying message coincide with those of the Mirror, with special emphasis on how Ms Loos feels now “emotional brunette broke down in tears”, “she became very down”, “she is distraught”. As a result, there is also an idea of Littleguyism taking her side. This could be aimed at many of the target readers who may be interested in finding out some “details” about how the outcome of this love affair from Ms Loos´ point of view and what exactly happened. 4.3. Language and Style The journalist has definitely oriented the article to a young readership due to the choice of informal vocabulary (see yellow highlights in Appendix 4) “a bombshell phone call”, “pals”; some expressions especially preferred by American citizens “she was axed as the Real Madrid star’s aide”, “they partied shoulder-to-shoulder” and some related to the fashion world: “ultratrendy club”. Thus, every-day language for the target reader of this newspaper.

Bozzani, Ana Laura

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University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media
Conclusion Despite the fact that the material for analysis is not enough to generalize on newspapers´ attitude towards their readers (due to the selection of only one piece of news and only four British newspapers), a series of conclusions arise from this cross-sectional contrastive analysis. Firstly, there has been some difference as regards the frame and underlying message of the story and what each news paper wanted to highlight, for instance: most the tabloids focused on Beckham´s love affair per se with even the publication of some intimate conversations while the broadsheets either mentioned the importance of the footballer’s image and its economic effect (the Guardian and The Independent which is not analysed in the present study) or limited their article to a list of quotes showing different sides of the story (The Times). This difference may have been related to the target readership of each newspaper as regards two main factors: age and social class, which is also related to interests. Furthermore, the remarkable difference in language and style from one article to another could be based on the same factors. To such an extent do target readers vary from one newspaper to another that it could be possible to grade them from the least to the most formal as follows: The Sun, The Mirror, The Times and The Guardian. And finally, as regards ethics, even though Beckham is in the public eye and something related to this issue should be published, some newspapers breached this family’s privacy and went beyond by providing very intimate information or subjective interpretations (in the articles published by The Mirror and The Sun). What is more, in one of them there is not even an attempt to ¨minimize harm¨(Ethics Code) , on the contrary the message “ a media scrum led to a scuffle in which as relative was hurt.” (Appendix 3, paragraph 7) contributes to the article’s fatalist tone. To sum up, it is clear to see from this analysis that the target reader is one of the main focuses in the journalist’s mind before starting with the writing process in terms of language (formal, informal, business-like), background information to include (for instance, the clarification that Ms Loos was an ex-Spice girl), as well as the grammar choice. Nevertheless, it is also worth pointing out that due to this great reader-orientation the journalist can sometimes Bozzani, Ana Laura 8

University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media
undermine one of the main purposes of journalism that is to provide citizens with accurate and reliable information. The point would be where and how to place a balance between the reader’s influence (as regards age, language, demographic

characteristics including income) and the journalist’s objective account of what happened. Therefore, even though there is a growing debate within news organizations about newspapers responsibilities as businesses and their responsibilities as journalists, and many journalists feel a sense of lost purpose when serious journalistic organizations drift toward opinion, infotainment and sensation out of balance with the news, they should be always reminded that journalism's first obligation is to the truth. (http://www.inma.org) and every journalist should have a moral compass to see where and how far to go so as not to remain adrift.

References INMA Circulation Summit(2004) ¨Time to go: Catching a Moving Target¨ http://www.inma.org/2004-circsummit.cfm Journalism Organization (2004) ¨Framing the News: The Triggers, Frames, and Messages in Newspaper Coverage¨ http://www.journalism.org/resources/research/reports/framing National Reader Survey (2004) ¨Newspapers¨ http://www.nrs.co.uk/ News Marketing Agency, NMA (2003) ¨Facts and Figures¨ http://www.nmauk.co.uk/nma/do/live/factsAndFigures Bozzani, Ana Laura 9

University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media
Pagano, A. 1994. 'Negatives in Written Text¨. In M. Coulthard (Ed.) Advances in Written Text Analysis, 250-265. London: Routledge. Society of Profesional Jounalists (1996) ¨Code of Ethics¨ http://www.spj.org/ethics_code.asp

Appendix 1
The Guardian

Bad news for brand image as Beckham denies affair
Paul Kelso, sports correspondent Monday April 5, 2004 David Beckham has become one of the world's best paid and most marketable sportsmen, thanks to a winning combination of talent and an apparently unimpeachable reputation as a devoted family man. From Manchester to the Mekong delta, he is looked on as a star and role model, the good-looking good boy. But yesterday the England captain could be seen facing allegations of infidelity that could prove almost as unpopular with his sponsors as they are with his wife Victoria. Beckham robustly denied newspaper claims that he had an affair with his former personal assistant, an allegation which if proved could dent his wholesome reputation and seems certain, regardless of the facts, to raise speculation about his private life to new levels. The state of the Beckhams' marriage has been considered the subject of widespread discussion ever since the midfielder joined Real Madrid, but yesterday's News of the World carried the first outright allegations of infidelity since the £25m move last summer.

Bozzani, Ana Laura

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University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media
The allegation will disappoint those who value Beckham as a standard bearer of traditional virtues in football. The last six months have seen the game mired in tales of missed drugs tests, threatened players' strikes, allegations of rape and group sex, but Beckham's conduct has remained exemplary. He earns around £100,000 a week at Real Madrid, whose merchandising operation has been enhanced by Beckham in the No 23 shirt, and many millions more as the face of numerous companies including Vodafone, Pepsi, Adidas and Police sunglasses. Over five pages, however, the News of the World knocked a little gloss off that reputation. The paper alleged that last year Beckham, 28, had a three-month relationship with Rebecca Loos, 26, a former employee of SFX, his then management company. Sources close to Beckham said yesterday that legal action or a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission was being considered. Whatever action the couple take, this time the story is unlikely to end quickly. The Beckham camp suggested yesterday that the PR consultant Max Clifford, a man with an unsurpassed record in orchestrating tabloid exposes, was behind the story. Mr Clifford said yesterday he had no official involvement, but it is understood that Ms Loos has been in touch with him for advice and that she has done a six-figure deal with the News of the World. She is understood to be prepared to back up yesterday's allegations. In a statement Beckham, who spent yesterday morning training with Real Madrid, dismissed the allegations. "During the past few months I have become accustomed to reading more and more ludicrous stories about my private life," he said. "What appeared this morning is just one further example. "The simple truth is that I am very happily married and have a wonderful wife and two very special kids. There is nothing any third party can do to change this." Victoria Beckham left Britain yesterday for what was believed to be a family holiday. A member of her family lodged a complaint of assault at Heathrow airport against a man thought to be a photographer. No one was badly hurt.

Appendix 2 The times April 05, 2004 Beckham flies out to meet wife BY RONAN MCGREEVY
David Beckham has joined his wife Victoria and two children on holiday in Switzerland after he was given compassionate leave by his club Real Madrid.

Bozzani, Ana Laura

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University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media
Beckham was confronted by Mrs Beckham after allegations were printed in a Sunday newspaper that he had an affair with his former personal assistant Rebecca Loos. The News of the World printed intimate text messages allegedly sent between the couple detailing their relationship. Ms Loos was hired by Beckham’s former agency, SFX, and was his PA until December when she was made redundant after Beckham agreed to join his wife’s PR agency. The reports alleged that Beckham invited Ms Loos back to his Madrid hotel room on September 18 last year after a night out drinking. This was reported to be one in a series of four meetings. The pair have not seen each other since Christmas, but, according to The News of the World, they continued to exchange text messages. The rumours were confirmed by her brother, John Loos, yesterday in various interviews with national newspapers. He told The Sun: "I am overwhelmed with shock. I can well imagine he’s going to get a bad press now and my sister may be branded a marriage-wrecker. She knows her life is never going to be the same. "If they’ve got text messages between the two of them, I don’t see how she could really deny that an affair took place." The Sun also printed comments from Delfin Fernandez, Beckham's former driver, who alleged that the pair "kissed like teenagers" in the back of his car. Beckham issued a statement yesterday describing the allegations as "ludicrous" but it stopped short of an outright denial. The statement read: "During the past few months I have become accustomed to reading more and more ludicrous stories about my private life. What appeared this morning is just one further example. "The simple truth is that I am very happily married, have a wonderful wife and two very special kids. There is nothing that any third party can do to change these facts." Beckham was due to miss Real Madrid’s Champions League quarter-final against Monaco tomorrow because he was suspended, but he would have been expected to train anyway. This morning Beckham's sponsors said they were standing by the star despite the allegations. Beckham is reported to earn almost £7 million a year from commercial endorsements. A Vodofone spokesman said it was a "private matter" for David Beckham to deal with. Adidas said that it was "silly" to suggest that there would be any change in their commercial relationship while Marks & Spencer were equally emphatic. A spokeswoman said it would have no effect "whatsoever". Also this morning Beckham’s father, Ted, refused to comment on the allegations, simply saying: "I have nothing to say. Nothing at all."

Appendix 3 The mirror Bozzani, Ana Laura 12

University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media

IT'S UTTERLY LUDICROUS
Apr 5 2004 David hits out at affair claim
By Fiona Cummins- Correspondent, In Madrid

DAVID Beckham yesterday dismissed as "ludicrous" allegations that he had an affair with his former PA Rebecca Loos. The England captain said: "The simple truth is that I am very happily married, I have a wonderful wife and two very special kids." Beckham, 28, was reacting to newspaper claims about a relationship with Rebecca, 26, in Madrid from September to December last year. The story - which claimed he was a "sensational lover" - also included details of explicit text messages allegedly exchanged between the pair last month. Rebecca was the girl pictured with Beckham in a Madrid nightspot at 2.30am last September. The ensuing publicity ended with the footballer and wife Victoria issuing a public declaration that their marriage was fine and "not in crisis". Yesterday Victoria - 30 later this month - was stony-faced as she left their home in Sawbridgeworth, Herts, to catch a flight to Switzerland for a skiing holiday. At Heathrow, the ex-Spice Girl - with sons Brooklyn, five, and Romeo, one - was said to be "shaken and tearful" after a media scrum led to a scuffle in which a relative was hurt. She too is said be rejecting out- of-hand the suggestion that her husband has betrayed her. Beckham, who was training with Real Madrid at the weekend but is suspended from their midweek European game, was expected to join the family in Switzerland. In Madrid, Spanish-born Rebecca's brother John Loos said she had told him by phone yesterday that she did have an affair with the former Manchester United midfielder and feared being branded a marriagewrecker. Speaking from their family's £550,000 home in the Spanish capital, John said: "I had no idea Beckham was cheating on Victoria with my sister. I am overwhelmed by shock. The first I knew something was up was when she phoned this morning and woke me up to warn me journalists may come knocking at my door. "I asked why, but she wouldn't tell me. And she wouldn't tell me where she was either. "All she said was she was abroad with a friend. I have spoken to her since and she has confirmed she had an affair with David. "If they've got text messages between the two of them, I don't see how she could really deny an affair took place. "I don't know when she is coming home. She could be anywhere." Rebecca worked as Beckham's personal assistant to help him settle in Madrid after his £25million transfer from Manchester United. She was with the SFX sports management company, but left the company after the nightclub pictures were published. Her brother John said: "She was very upset when she parted company with David and Victoria. She became very down and cried a lot. At times she looked heartbroken. I thought it was professional reasons because she wasn't working with Victoria anymore. "But I'm now beginning to understand there must have been more to it than that. "Rebecca hasn't gone into details about the relationship. And she's made no mention of an apology to Victoria or the children. "I'm not one to say what David saw in my sister, but she is a very pretty and intelligent girl. "My sister may be branded a marriage-wrecker. She knows her life is never going to be the same again.' Details of the alleged affair were given to the News Of The World by a "close family friend". There is speculation that Rebecca, daughter of a Dutch diplomat, sold the story herself through publicist Max Clifford for £300,000. But her brother said: "She has insisted she is not the person who exposed the affair - she says she feels hurt and betrayed." The Sunday paper claimed the relationship began on September 18 after Beckham felt abandoned by Victoria. During his first 89 days in Spain, she spent only 35 with him. Four alleged sexual encounters between Beckham and Rebecca were listed, with the paper's source saying: "David was a sensational lover - their sex was highly charged and explosive. They made love for

Bozzani, Ana Laura

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University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media
hours. He kept telling her, 'I know we shouldn't be doing this, but I can't help it. I really want this to happen"." The source added: "Everyone knows about the affair in the Beckham camp. David pursued her and made it very clear he wanted her sexually." He has not seen Rebecca - said to have a new job in banking - since December. But they were sending explicit texts to each other as recently as last month, said the paper. Yesterday a statement from Beckham said: "During the past few months I have become accustomed to reading more and more ludicrous stories about my private life. What appeared this morning is just one further example. The simple truth is that I am very happily married, I have a wonderful wife and two very special kids. "There is nothing that any third party can do to change these facts." At Heathrow, Victoria and her two children were joined for the skiing holiday by her pregnant sister Louise and other family members. The group, accompanied by minders, were caught up in a a media melee and police escorted her to the VIP lounge. Louise's husband Haydn Isted, 31, called the affair-claims "a load of bull***t". He said: "It's just a couple people selling their stories and trying to make some money. They're going to be proved wrong within a few days." Haydn added: "It's not going to come between them, a pack of lies is not going to come between them." Beckham's father Ted said at home in Chingford, East London: "I've not spoken to him at all about this. "I don't even know whether any of this is true, so I can't say if it is a shock or not." The News Of The World said it stood by its story "100 per cent".

Appendix 4 The sun

'I did sleep with Becks'
From MICHAEL LEA in Madrid DAVID Beckham’s former personal assistant told yesterday how she bedded the England skipper — in a bombshell phone call to her brother. In her dramatic heart-to-heart with goatee-bearded John, Rebecca Loos confided to him for the first time that she HAD shared a fling with Becks. The emotional brunette broke down in tears over the line as she blurted out: “I had an affair with David.” Rebecca, 26, had kept the alleged liaisons secret from her family — but spoke out after explosive evidence emerged about her relationship with the star. John, 28, hinted his sister was left heartbroken after her friendship with Becks crumbled when she was axed as the Real Madrid star’s aide. John said at the four-bedroom house he shares with Rebecca and their parents in a posh Madrid suburb: “She was very upset when she parted company with David and Victoria last year. “She became very down and she cried a lot. At times she looked heartbroken. “I thought it was because of professional reasons — but I’m now beginning to understand that there must have been more to it than that.” John added: “I’d no idea Beckham was cheating on Victoria with my sister. I am overwhelmed with shock. My parents knew nothing of this. I would have known if they had.

“The first I knew something was up was when Rebecca rang home early this morning and woke me up to warn me. “At first, she wouldn’t tell me anything and she wouldn’t tell me where she was, either. All she said was she was abroad with a friend. “But I have spoken to her since and she has confirmed that she had an affair with David. She hasn’t gone into details about the relationship.”

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University of Belgrano - B. A. in English English in the Media
He added: “If there are text messages between the two of them, I don’t see how she could really deny an affair took place.” Rebecca is known among Madrid’s elite upper classes as a pretty, intelligent and likeable young woman. She is renowned as a supreme organiser and excellent communicator, speaking several European languages. As a youngster she harboured dreams of a modelling career and had a portfolio of professional photographs taken. But instead she opted for the business world — first in banking and then in PR. Beckham’s sports management firm SFX head-hunted her to help him settle in Spain after the 28-year-old star’s £25million switch to Real Madrid. Rumours of the afffair first surfaced last September when the pair were spotted laughing and chatting intimately during a night out with pals, as they partied shoulder-to-shoulder in the early hours at Madrid´s ultra-trendy club Ananda. Rebecca was also seen with Posh on September 13 as the singer held son Romeo during a Real Madrid game. The day before, Rebecca and Posh went shopping in Madrid.

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