The view that news is produced and manufactured as popular entertainment

‘News’ has many different meanings by lots of people. It can be interpreted in many ways. We perceive news in the way newspapers and broadcast delivers it across to us. They use special techniques to do this. I believe news is produced and manufactured as popular entertainment. This is what interests readers. The broadsheet and tabloid newspapers have different views and values about the way they present news. News also has to have certain qualities to be called ‘newsworthy’ and this need to go through several stages of manufacture to get published.

News is information the public wants to know. ‘Popular entertainment’ is stories that are well like by the public. Its true that the more quirky the story, the more the audience will be engaged by it. News is made into entertainment mainly by the tabloids to interest readers, so more people will buy the papers and obviously want to make more money by doing this. When readers want to read the news they want to be interested and entertained. The papers do this very cleverly. The news is developed, altered, changed and bits are added to it to make it more entertaining.

Firstly the news is gathered, a stories ‘newsworthiness’ often depends upon how easily the story can be obtained. If there is no primary definer then the story will probably not be investigated. News agencies are often used as primary definers these are the people who are associated with world news. They are the ones that angle the way an event should be perceived. When the news has been gathered it needs to be selected. At this point a number of things can happen to the story, they can change it significantly or just simply throw it out. Sub – editors will often change a story to fit it into a space.

This shows that even at this stage the news is being changed to make it newsworthy for the entertainment of the readers. Stories that are newsworthy often contain certain criteria. If a story is of social, political, economic or human significance then it may be included. Also stories that contain drama which will excite the reader and stories that have an element of surprise will appeal. The relevance of a story e. g. one that can be understood, that has a national or regional setting is more likely to appeal to the audience. Famous personalities are very popular with the readers because everyone wants to know what they are doing.

Also the size of an event will govern the amount of attention it gets. Almost anything can be news; it depends on whether it can be manipulated into an interesting story for the particular target audience. The presentation of a news story all determined the fact that it is produced for entertainment. At this point in the manufacture detailed design and layout are discussed and all of the staff of each department are brought together. Then the final print and photographic layouts are adjusted and negotiated and the style of the paper is fine-tuned. Both tabloids and broadsheets have there own ways of doing this.

I have chosen several copies of the Daily Mirror as an example of a tabloid to show the entertainment side and The Guardian as an example of a broadsheet to show real news. Just at a glance at the front pages, The Guardian looks double the height of The Mirror. The Mirror is a lot more colourful and the news titles are bold and large. Often a pun is used to grab the reader’s attention, usually one that is mildly humorous, and lead then into the newspaper for the rest of the story. An example of this is in the Mirror (October 10th). The story was about cabinet ministers refusing to reveal if they smoked dope.

The pun was, “Grass up the cabinet”. The guardian id quite the opposite to the Mirror. The front page is very dull and the titles are smaller. The majority of the story or the story itself was on the front page. The print is smaller and the layout looked very formal. Probably written for the upper class person. The majority of the pictures are in black and white. Both types of papers are for different audiences and for different aims just by looking at the style of the layout. What appeals interest to the reader is the way in which the text speaks to them. The humour and lightness of the Mirror conveys entertainment.

Also the way the pictures are presented are influential. In the October 6th edition of the Mirror the whole front page is committed to the story on Slobodan Milosevic. The story is about how he has been kicked out as leader of the Serbs after thirteen years of “hell”. The story carries on to pages 4 and 5. The main picture on the front takes up nearly the whole page. It is of protesters outside Belgrade’s Parliament; the angle of the photo is from a protesters point of view with a large fist held up high in the middle of the picture. The large title is, “get out you slob”.

This story proves that news is bias. Usually it is only on stories like this one which include politics and elite nations and leaders. This is always bias on the side of the reader, there point of view or the point of view they want you to look at. In broadsheet papers there is no need for news to be portrayed as entertainment. This is just ‘real news’. As an example the same story as I described earlier about Slobodan Milosevic is on the front page of the Guardian. It consists of a serious title, which is an overview of the story. No snappy pun, just, “Milosevic eronies defy Serbia’s new ruler”.

There is no picture either, instead plain, small font, tightly packed text. It follows on to page 2 with exactly the same layout. News is twisted and made bias for entertainment use. There is an extreme amount of pressure to “sell” a story these days. This is why they need to be exaggerated. The tabloids do this very well and this is why such papers as the Sun and Daily Mirror are very successful. On the other hand the broadsheets don’t need to do this because they make their money out of advertisements. But, today there is beginning to be less and less of ‘real news’ because of competition.