In this essay, I will be analysing and comparing two articles featuring Michael Jackson's memorial from two different newspapers- The Times and The Daily Mirror.
The Daily Mirror is a British tabloid newspaper founded in 1903 by Alfred Harmsworth. It is mainly aimed at feminine affairs involving the lives of the celebrities. It also has some space for sports, business and other issues. This paper is mainly targeted towards the general public, especially the lower class.
The Times is a daily broadsheet newspaper founded on January 1st, 1785. Though the paper has readers from all the sectors, it is mainly concentrates on politics and business issues. This paper mainly targets people with a higher reading age and people who are in senior positions at work.
The Daily Mirror targets the emotional aspect of the memorial rather than the event itself. It concentrates more on how Michael Jackson was a good role model to his children and how the event was mainly for his family to send him off. Overall, the article is very supportive of this event and its main objective was to entertain the audience rather than inform.
The Times however focuses on how the event was planned and what were people's views. It also criticises the feasibility and effects of the memorial. The article is not supportive of the event or Michael Jackson and it is more factual than the Daily Mirror.
The memorial of Michael Jackson was expressed larger than life in the newspapers because he was a major icon in the music industry. His music sold millions of copies worldwide and had an impact on people's lives. This is why the media felt it was important to broadcast the memorial and knew it would target a massive audience.
There were several issues involved in this event. Some people thought this was advertised more than it should have because they did not believe it to be a significant event. Others believed that the ceremony was rather a profligate affair than it's worth, especially since the economy is on a downturn. In addition, many thought the security of the event was too tight; it was not open to the public apart from a few delegates and a selected group. I believe people might have accepted this event if the money was spent from the income of Michael Jackson rather than the state because it would have been spent on a better purpose.
The Daily Mirror's heading is 'King of Pops'. This suggests the article will be referring to how he was a great father to his children and also saying he was the 'king' of pop music. This makes the reader aware that the article is going to be positive. Small headings read, 'FAREWELL TO JACKO'. This makes the reader feel a close bond with Michael Jackson. Another heading states, 'he was the best father you could ever imagine'. The language suggests the article is informal and people are interested in celebrity affairs.
This news paper takes 10 pages to cover this article, including the front page. This newspaper felt the memorial was breaking news. In this article, Michael Jackson's family, especially his children are mentioned. They've done this to make people feel emotional. Mentioning these people help to justify their point of view that Jackson was a great person.
The Daily Mirror's opinion of the memorial is very supportive and positive. They say it was more of a family memorial than a public event. They also made it sound larger than life event.
The headline of the Times however is not very supportive, 'This was it...gold bands, red carpet, VIP guests and a made-for-TV event.' It makes it sound there was nothing exceptional in this memorial and it was not of much significance.
This article only took a page in this newspaper, which was in page 10. This elucidates that it was not regarded a 'big issue' compared with the Daily Mirror.
The article refers to many people, in particular Princess Diana's funeral. It is compared to Jackson's and it persuades the reader to think Diana's funeral was better, forcing people to assume Jackson's was an improvident event. It says, 'It could not have been further removed from 1997, the funeral and carnage of Diana's', 'memorial service wasn't much a 'Diana moment' as a made-for-TV special.
It also refers to people who were present at the funeral such as, Pastar Lucious Smith', 'Berrry Gordy', 'Brooke Shields'.
In addition, people who helped gain Black's racial equality; 'Oprah Winfrey', 'Tiger Woods' and Barack Obama' were also referred to by. Mr Spartan, who was present at the memorial states, 'careers of such prominent African-American...would have been impossible without Jackson'. Although it a positive statement, the author does not however endorse this. Throughout the article, it does not show sympathy for Jackson or his family. The author however does indicate his view by saying, 'cost los Angeles about $4million-money that it could ill afford because of the budget crisis.' This persuades the reader to think it was an event of misuse of money.
To find each article's target audience, I have completed a readability test for each article by counting the number of words which contain 3+ letters in the first 10 sentences. I have found the Daily Mirror to have 11 and the Times to have 16.
This tells us the reading age is higher in the Times than the Daily Mirror. The Times is aimed at more able readers, with higher intelligence. The Daily Mirror is aimed at people with a low reading ability, mostly working class people or below.
The Times is very factual as a large amount of the article is based on facts and figures. It says, '4,00 of the 20,000 people with tickets could not fit inside the venue', '1.6 million people who entered the lottery tickets, fewer than 9,000 were told via email.' 'Charging fees up to $100 (£60).
The Daily Mirror made few factual commentaries about the memorial, mostly focusing on his family and friends, '200 families and friends had attended a private service.' 'Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11'. This expounds that the article is aimed at people who are interested in his person life rather than the funeral.
The Times is mainly factual but this is sometimes expressed emotively, for example, 'cost Los Angeles about $4 million- that it could ill afford.' This makes the reader feel angry and forcing them to think negatively about the ceremony. Also, "As soon as the set of the memorial was dismantled yesterday, the venue was taken over by the Ringling Bros", this sentence gives reader an impression that the ceremony was more of a kind of circus than a memorial.
The Daily Mirror expressed the feelings of the Jackson's children in an emotive fashion, for example, "He was the best father you could ever imagine" gives the reader a very tear-jerking emotion while considering his kids. This sentence was mainly highlighted to give the article a sense of high emotion. Also, in two sentences Paris encapsulated a family tragedy generates an emotion of sympathy towards the Jackson family.
More bias was seen in the article from The Daily Mirror, which exhibited most of its emphasis on Jackson's family which was surrounded in an aura of melancholy. By repeating the sentence, "He was the best father you could ever imagine", the daily mirror has able to grab the empathy for Jackson's children from the reader and this can be called a strong evidence that Daily mirror was more biased towards his family.
For most of the article, The Times has managed to remain unbiased by presenting the memorial as it was, however, there was some criticism and sarcasm involved.
The Times has managed to grab the minute details of the ceremony by presenting the memorial in detail. Also, generally it has managed to remain unbiased by presenting the facts and figures of the ceremony. It has also shown its concern about the lavishness of the ceremony as the money spent towards the ceremony that could have been used for better purposes. While daily mirror has mostly captured the emotions of the Jackson's children thus making it biased. Hence I would prefer the Times article.
The issues that Times has stressed upon gives a more clear insight of the memorial , thus giving the readers the clear facts and the figures and though it was a musical extravaganza the ceremony was rather extravagant. Hence in my view, the issues concentrated by The Times are relevant. However, the issues stressed by the Daily Mirror were rather a private affair and the emotions of the children. Giving more prominence to Paris' statement was not much required as this only grabbed sympathy but did not give any detail of the memorial.
In future, this issue may have some impact on Jackson's family because till the memorial ceremony not many knew who Paris Jackson, Blanket and Prince Michael were. By giving the children an opportunity to speak on stage has made them hog the limelight. Many of his fans might be disappointed for not attending the memorial of the "King of Pops "as there was a restricted entry. For music industry, the memorial will always linger in their memories as this has been a memorial like no other.
The memorial service is a good idea in one way, because this was the only way, the entire world would have paid homage to such a great personality. But at the same time making it a costly affair has raised many eyebrows. Also, the fans were agitated of not being allowed inside making the whole thing complicated as "4,000 people out of 20,000 were left out to watch the memorial on a large screen outside.
Considering the two articles from the Daily Mirror and the Times, in contrast to my opinion, many people might feel that the article in Daily Mirror is much prudent than The Times, because though it has expressed some bias, it managed to seize the emotions of Jackson's family, which was heart-rending. The Times has expressed its criticism, which might not be acceptable by many people. Many people would consider the memorial inappropriate due to the huge amount of money spent towards the ceremony.