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The Representation Of Britishness In Two Or Three Media Texts

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The three British Media text that were analysed were, first of all, pages 1-3 of ‘The Sun’ newspaper dated January 30th 2007, secondly the BBC news web page created January 5th 2007 and last of all the first episode of the British television sketch show, ‘Little Britain.

‘The Sun’ is a tabloid newspaper that aims at stories that hold gravitas, which are usually big political issues in a short time period. A tabloid is an industry term which refers to a smaller newspaper format per spread; to a weekly or semi-weekly alternative newspaper that focuses on local-interest stories and entertainment, often distributed free of charge (often in a smaller, tabloid-sized newspaper format); or to a newspaper that tends to emphasize sensational crime stories, gossip columns repeating scandalous innuendos about the personal lives of celebrities and sports stars, and other so-called “junk food news” (often in a smaller, tabloid-sized newspaper format).

As the term “tabloid” has become synonymous with down-market newspapers in some areas, some small-format papers which claim a higher standard of journalism refer to themselves as “compact” newspapers instead. Tabloids are also known as ‘red tops’ because the title on the front cover is red, they can also be referred to as gutter press. The article that was viewed was the article involving two celebrities from the show ‘Celebrity Big Brother’. The situation involved was a moral issue, which involved the prey Shilpa Shetty and the predators Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd, and Jo O’Meara. The moral issue that was used was Racism. The article shows that racism still exist today’s society – Britain. The article shows 11 kids from different cultures and backgrounds, and the racism they still experience in their lives. On the front page we are given a mask head showing how Jade Goody is coping with the situation and below this we are given a teaser ‘AS SHILPA WINS BIG BROTHER, 11 KIDS ASK…’

This particular article contained many news values: Immediacy, as this story was very serious at the time it was published. Familiarity was within the news article because the celebrities involved are people with uprising reputations. Amplitude was really shown within the article because it is a big deal and it is something that maybe everyone has experienced within his or her lives and it was also shown on public television, which increased the uproars. Surprise was shown because the media always shows the nice side of celebrities and the good they are doing but this came as an absolute shock as it has never happened before on ‘Big Brother’. Elite People were shown in the article as they are seen all over the world. A lot of Negativity was shown within the article. This does not often happen in the newspaper and the audience will surely want to know how it started and what shall be done about it, which would lead to Continuity. Alliteration was shown within the article, whereby the phrase ‘Lets Beat the Bigots was used’. Offensive Words have been used which offend many backgrounds; this has been done to make the audience wonder why these words have been used, and why their background is being offended.

Within the first paragraph of the second page we are told what the article will be about and also we are shown ‘The Sun’s’ view ‘ such victims of such a repugnant insults’. ‘The Sun’ shows that everyone is equal and that everyone has ‘Britishness’ within with the sub-heading ‘ THE MODERN FACES OF OUR NATION’S YOUTH’, this is followed by short accounts of all the children and how they have experienced racism/ bullying, ‘The Sun’s’ intentions from this is to makes it audience more emotional and try and fix the problem that has been created. ‘The Sun’ tries to make its audience even more emotional by giving a short account of Anila Baig’s life and how she experienced racism and also how it felt being treated how she was.

Final page of ‘The Sun’ answers the question that was first asked on the front page ‘What do we all have in common’, this is shown in the title and also on the cards that all the children hold which says ‘British’. There is a difference from the children’s expression on the front page and the expression on the final page. When they are holding offensive words on the first page they all seem miserable, but on the last page when they are holding the cards that say ‘British’ they all seem happier and equal. ‘The Sun’ newspaper shows that we are all equal and that the term ‘Britishness’ is within us all as it is not just a physical thing. The heading ‘LET’S BEAT THE BIGOTS’ shows how ‘The Sun’ is trying to put a stop to racism.

The BBC News web page from Thursday 25th January 2007 consults about changing the school curriculum so that British Values are taught to children till the age of sixteen. The way ‘The Sun’ is presented and the way the web page is presented show many similarities, but also many differences. Both the web page and ‘The Sun’ have given a short summary of the story, but ‘The Sun’ has been made to stand out more with the various text and images used.

The way the web page has presented itself, shows that the images have been used to back up what has been said within the text. Both articles differ as of the way they present themselves; ‘The Sun’ tends to use big images and text to grab the reader’s interest, while the web page is purely by reader’s interest. The web page is shown to be more interactive as of it consists of voting polls where the user can express their view on the situation; also navigation to other related topics can be viewed through the various links. The news values used by the web page is similar to those used by ‘The Sun’. The web page includes ‘Familiarity’ as it is teaching youth about the meaning of Britishness and what it means in their lives today. ‘Amplitude’ has been used as of the amount of people that shall be involved. ‘Personalisation’ as it accessible only by personal interest. ‘Elite people’ have been used, as we can see that the word sir is used for ‘Sir Keith Ajegbo’ showing the importance of this man in the area of Britishness.

The word Sir adds to the gravitas to make the reader aware that this article is from a reliable source. Two images have been used within the article, one of secondary school pupils as these are on the few groups to be affected by this article, and one of the significant people who are already working on the situation to ensure Britishness is familiar to the youth.

The final media text studied was Little Britain Season one episode one, Little Britain is a produced sketch show created by, Matt Lucas and David Williams. The comedy sketch show is post water shed (mainly for adults). Little Britain is an award-winning programme and has been running for 7 series. The characters within Little Britain are exceedingly exaggerated for comedy purposes, various traits and behaviour are shown of people who live in Britain. Satire is used to show both the positive and negative sides of the British characters.

In the first sketch, we are shown a reversal in roles as instead of pupils fighting we witness two teacher fighting and pupils watching. We then introduced to a stereotypical teacher as he is wearing: glasses, dull clothing and other dull things a teacher would normally wear. We are then introduced to Vicky Pollard, who is the stereotypical teenage girl, this can be seen when she is asked for her homework and she gives excuses relating to sex and gossip, which are normally seen among teenage girls. The situation is also exaggerated when Vicky is showing the behaviour of modern teenagers.

In the second sketch, comedy is first shown when we see a guard who is suppose to remain still, moving from his spot to go and chase the ice-cream truck. We are then shown a politicians meeting room, whereby he is having a meeting, this is then interrupted by Sebastian, who turns the meeting from a serious situation to a personal one, showing jealousy as there is another man with the Prime Minister. Sebastian sexual orientation shows comedy towards the audience.

The third sketch show, shows how credulous people within Britain can be, as of a women who is actually a man seems to get the attention he seeks from other men, comedy is shown at the end of this sketch, when we are shown that the women is truly a man as he is urinating in the male toilets – standing up.

The fourth sketch show also shows how nave people can be, as we have Lou Todd who believes his friend Andy Pipkin is truly disabled as of this Lou seems to be so nice towards Andy as well as generous. Andy show no appreciation towards Lou, this re-enforces the comedy within Little Britain. At the beginning if this sketch we are also shown how futile police can be this is exaggerated which enforces comedy within the clip.

The next sketch is of Kelsey Grammar School, whereby they over exaggerate on the fact that it is a grammar school. Comedy is first show when the kids come out for ‘break’, but it is not really seen as break as it is only five seconds, the children within this school are shown as obedient and smart, comedy is shown within the end of the sketch as we see that the teacher is under qualified to do what the students can do.

The final sketch to be spoken about is the one involving the fat fighters; comedy is shown here with racism and prejudice from Marjorie, who is also a hypocrite, racism and prejudice is shown when Mary clearly says “fish and chips”, and says this repeatedly, Marjorie pretends as is she does not understand Mary and writes down curry. Marjorie is seen as a hypocrite when she seems to make fun of people about their weight when she is clearly big herself.

Britishness within Little Britain is shown as an optimistic thing. The nastier the characters are, the more they are seen not to be liked, as they are also the ones who show racism towards other people and are also ignorant.

Britishness throughout all three media text shows that Britishness is an excellent thing. The media shows that people accept Britishness are tolerant while the people that don’t are narrow-minded are should be ignored which was shown in both ‘The Sun’ and Little Britain.

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