Newspaper articles have many purposes; to inform, to persuade and to advertise. I am comparing two articles, both on the subject of cheap chicken. One article from The Independent and an article from The Times. I will compare the language used and presentational devices. I will compare the opinion and fact used in the articles and how cheap chicken is portrayed. The article from The Times talks about Jamie Oliver and his campaign about Britain’s love over cheap chicken. The second article is an article from The Independent which talks about the horror of how cheap chickens are kept and slaughtered.
The article from The Times is a balanced debate but is more towards the ban of cheap chicken. It features Jamie Oliver’s campaign and also about the chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s programme on Channel 4, both part of Channel 4’s ‘Big food fight’, ‘The footage at the farm will be used to spearhead Oliver’s latest crusade. ‘ The article from The Independent is about the producing and keeping of the cheap chicken and gives us figures and facts, and visual aids to get their point across.
It has one point of view, ‘Customers have the right to end this cruelty. , this is used as the headline to catch people’s eye and suggests instantly that what is really going on with cheap chickens is cruel. The article from The Times has a balanced view on cheap chicken, including opinions from the public portraying two sides to the argument. In the headline the article is bias against Jamie Oliver, ‘Hes on the warpath again…… over our taste for cheap chicken. ‘ This suggests that they are fed up with his endless campaigns over food and that they are against the idea of the banning of the cheap chicken.
But if you read on into the article it portrays a different side o the argument, ‘When you see what they’re like you would never buy a chicken from one of those farms’ This suggests that they have researched the idea for the article and changed their minds. Giving an impartial opinion shows us that one of the purposes of the article is to inform us rather than persuade us. They also give us a guide of what the labels mean on eggs and chicken which also suggests the purpose is to inform.
Another purpose is to persuade people to buy the more expensive free range or organic chickens which means better welfare for the chickens. He portrays this idea by using emotive language to make us feel guilty for letting the farms put the chickens through this, ‘Accelerated growth puts strain on the chickens “Their hearts and bones are still immature”‘ Another purpose is to advertise Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s campaign including their programmes on Channel 4.
The article has a wide audience, it’s aimed at families, particularly parents that buy chicken to feed the whole family. Some families are involved in the article viewing their opinion suggesting that the chicken is too expensive; ‘Sarah Ryan, 38, a mother of four said “It’s hard to put animal welfare before financial considerations”‘ Here she is speaking the opinion of families that cannot afford the organic or free range chicken which people will be able to relate to. Another audience for the article is people interested in animal welfare.
Another audience for the article is the consumers, the people that buy the chicken may be interested in where their chicken comes from and the sort of conditions they live in, ‘The consumer isn’t aware of what is going on’. If they read this article they may get some idea of what is going on with the chickens and may be interested to research more on the subject. It is from the point of view of Jamie Oliver, which is that animal welfare is important when it comes to what is being cooked and put on our plate, ‘Later Oliver said, it was “morally wrong” that animals were being treated in this way.
The whole article is from this point of view. The article uses organisations to back up their facts and ideas, ‘The RSPCA insists that the industry needs to change faster. ‘ Throughout the article it uses facts and figures to persuade us. In the article from The Independent the front page has a visual aid to catch our eye and so that we can actually see how little room they have, ‘This tiny space is about the area that a battery chicken has.. ‘ It uses pictures of injured chickens to help us visualise what the conditions are like.
The headline of the article is ‘The true cost of cheap chicken’ which suggests one of the purposes is to inform the reader about what really happens to our chicken before it gets to our plate. It uses facts and percentages to show us how bad the chickens are treated compared to years ago and how we have pushed farmers to produce cheaper chicken, ‘50%, the increase in the rate at which birds are grow compared to 30 years ago. ‘ The article is bias throughout, ‘A covertly filmed video of factory-farmed chickens struggling to walk…….. packed densely into sheds. This shows that the article is against the cheap chickens and another purpose is to persuade us.
They persuade us by using emotive language, ’27 percent of these chickens have serious walking difficulties’ which makes us feel sorry for the birds and think how we would feel if we were brought up like that. The Independent also uses organisations such as CIWF, RSPCA, Sun Valley Food, British Poultry Council and other organisations to back up their ideas and give their opinions, ‘This week, the RSPCA called on supermarkets to stop selling mass-produced chickens whose lives are often racked with pain. They also use the chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to back up their claims, ‘The chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will seek to show the ugly reality of cheap chicken… ‘ The article contains the opinion of more than one person but with the same opinion which makes them seem like there are more people on their side and more people agree with them, ‘John Webster……. new evidence presented fast-growing strains of broiler chickens are prone to leg disorders.
He voices his opinions and which fits into the whole article. It is from the point of view of Jamie Oliver, which is that a few pounds extra is worth paying to know that the animal has had a full life and been brought up in a good and healthy environment. The audience is mainly adults and people that buy chicken, ‘These birds are reared in sheds with 30,000 other birds and slaughtered to be sold on supermarket shelves. ‘ Another audience is people that are interested is animal welfare, ‘These birds are kept indoors for all of their life.. This would concern them because they would be concerned for their living conditions and how they are brought up and if they have a happy life of not.
The similarities in the two articles are that; both the article use organisations to back up their claims and ideas about the chicken, ‘CIWF visited Uphampton farm… ‘ ‘The RSPCA insists the industry needs to change faster. ‘ Both articles use facts and percentages to prove their ideas and tell the audience that their ideas are reliable, ‘19% of birds suffer hock burns. ‘ ‘Out of 30,000-40,000 birds, 2000 will perish. Both audiences are mainly families, adults and people that are interested about animal welfare. Both articles have the same purposes, to inform, to persuade and to advertise, ‘end this cruelty’ ‘your label guide: what the types mean. ‘ The article from The Times is bias at the start but in the article overall it gives a fair argument stating both opinions and opinions from the public whereas the article from The Independent is bias throughout and mainly only states one opinion but there are parts of the article where there are ideas opposing the argument of cheaper chicken.
The article from The Independent uses a very serious tone ‘Will seek to show the ugly reality’ which suggests the article is serious about the welfare of chickens and doesn’t contain ‘gossip’ but just facts. The article from The Times uses a different tone in that the tone is less serious but more relaxed and suggests that the newspaper uses the headline as a ‘gossip column’ more than a serious matter, ‘He’s on the warpath…. this time over out taste for cheap chicken. ‘ But then the tone changes to suggest the article is actually on a serious matter and we should take notice.
To conclude both the articles use bias and emotive language to persuade us and both articles have the same audience and point of view but one of the articles is much more bias than the other. Out of both articles The Independent is the one with the serious tone and is out to change the public’s opinion. The articles use different ways to portray their opinions. Comparing the two articles and their audience and purposes helps you understand how the article is put together.