Harcup and O’Neill’s (2001) adaptation of Galtung and Ruge’s (1973) theory separated the elite persons factor into a ‘Celebrities’ and ‘ The Power Elite’ factor, as they stated in their research, that the difference between politicians and celebrities were unclear. The power elite, concerned powerful individuals (most likely politicians) and organisations, whilst celebrities including those already famous in the public eye. For example, The Mirror has regular features concerning the reality T. V show ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!’ within the first few pages, if not shown on the front page, whereas.
The Guardian does not. However, an exception to this would relate to the also running reality T. V show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Both papers have covered the actions of John Sergeant on that although he is bad at dancing, he remained in the competition but quit as he stated it was a ‘bad joke’. However The Mirror focussed on his dancing ability and the slating of Sergeant, whilst The Guardian commented on the complaints made to the BBC and political background of the contestant.
The front-page story also shows much about a newspapers agenda. For example, in Fridays edition of The Mirror, the recent split between Guy Ritchie and Madonna was featured on the front-page, whilst The Guardian showed a piece on U. S power, and it’s influence on other nations and how it is dropping. This therefore can state what each paper deems more newsworthy and what is more important. Another surprising factor noted was that The Guardian featured more stories containing composition than The Mirror.
According to Galtung and Ruge (1973), stories with composition will make the news agenda as it adds a lighter note to the day’s events, rather than focussing on negativity (another factor Galtung and Ruge deemed important). This may be due to the overall agenda of the newspaper, as it focuses more on political stories and stock market features, lighter stories are needed to balance it out. For example, in Fridays edition of The Guardian, a piece on Jamie Oliver’s popularity in Germany and how he was featured on a video link to a cooking contest.
It could be said that it is not needed as much in The Mirror as the paper in general consists of much lighter pieces, mainly including celebrities. These lighter stories can also be featured in Harcup and O’Neill’s (2001) under the factor of entertainment. They state that stories that include sex, animals, human interest, humour, funny images, and witty headlines will be included, as it is normal for us to be entertained by such pieces, whether a reader of The Guardian or The Mirror regardless.
We could also say these pieces feature colour according to Gans (1979), as these composition stories are interesting to read and keep the consumers attention. Another factor outlined by Galtung and Ruge (1973) is that of how much Threshold the story contains. This simply defines as the size of an event that has taken place. For example, in Tuesday’s edition of The Mirror, an article focussing on the current credit crunch crisis and deflation was featured in the first few pages.
The story contains threshold, as the story will affect a large scale of people, as it concerns the economy, which will in turn, affect the whole country. This could also lead to affecting other Elite Nations, as each countries economy relies on one another. This also crosses over with Harcup and O’Neill’s news factor of magnitude, in which the number of people it will involve and/or it’s potential impact. However, The Guardian tends to feature more stories like this, as it covers stories more focussed on the economy and business, therefore was quite surprising to see a story such as this featured so early on in The Mirror.
As well as noticeable differences between the papers, both show similar traits of factors. An example of this would be Galtung and Ruges Continuity factor and Harcup and O’Neill’s Follow up factor. These both simply state that a story, which is already in the public arena that has the potential to be followed up, will be followed up. Examples of these from the data include court cases, economics and acts of terrorism. One particular example can be found in Thursday’s edition of The Mirror, as an article involving the court case of the kidnapping of Shannon Matthews.
Over each day as the court cases continued, new light on details of the case where published in the papers. In conclusion, through thorough research and careful analysis of both The Mirror and The Guardian, the way each paper judges what is news is quite clear. The stories covered in each paper reflect the paper as a whole, which therefore clearly indicate and reach their target, niche audiences. The Mirror will deem more celebrity and ‘British’ orientated news more worthy than that over economical and scientific related stories included in The Guardian.
With the use of Galtung and Ruge, Harcup and O’Neill and Herbert Gan’s research into what makes a story newsworthy, this assignment has helped further shed light on what is indeed newsworthy, and how their research was valid. Although this said, the newspapers will cover similar stories that will be relevant to both readerships of the papers in question. However, this is not a criticism, as both papers write for these markets with great success, as they are both still running today even in the current ongoing newspaper crisis.
References Harcup, T, O’Neill, D, ‘What is News?Galtung and Ruge Revisited’, Journalism Studies, Vol 2, No 2, 2001, pp. 262 – 263, 279 Gans, H (1979) ‘Deciding What’s News: A Study of CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Newsweek, and Time’, Northwestern University Press, 2004 Appendices The Mirror Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Frequency.