Certain techniques of language and layout structures are often utilised in a variety of written media, such as magazines, books and newspapers, in order to manipulate the target audience’s opinions and beliefs. A journalist and their article’s motives can be deconstructed by considering five specific areas: the purpose and message of the article, the target audience and their susceptibility to persuasion, the language techniques being used, the bias of the article and lastly, the tone of the article and the audiences’ reactions.
The article ‘Rainbows for Kate’, written by Di Webster (March 6th 2008, Marie Claire magazine), will be analysed for its construction within the boundaries of these areas. In order to persuade a certain group of people, a journalist must construct an article with a direct purpose and with a message. ‘Rainbows for Kate’ was written with the intent to inform readers of how friendship is very strong and is always with you when times get hard. The authors viewpoint is clear as every paragraph she talks about the meaning of life, love and friendship.
This article is about how two friends come together from another mutual friend and discuss these three things. The ideal reader of this text would feel sympathy and understand why the writer would want to write this article. Instead of directing an article to the general public, a journalist must select a target demographic in order to successfully market the article and its ideas to a narrower, more specific group of people. ‘Rainbow for Kate’ was published in the middle of Marie Claire, spreading from page 102 – 106.
As it was published in Marie Claire, this indicates that the target demographic for the article is an older group of people. More specifically, the target audience includes ambitious, kind hearted adults aged 25 and above, who enjoy life and no matter what life throughs at them they will always keep positive and take it on and all it has to offer. The target demographic is also for an older person as they understand and can relate themselves to this article. They would be easily persuaded because everyone has had an experience with cancer, not necessarily themselves but a family member or a friend and would therefore be sympathetic.
It is published in a respectable magazine with an informative and emotional tone; therefore they would not question the journalist’s article. If it were published in a different type of magazine with an alternative reputation, such as Cleo or Cosmopolitan, it would attract a different sort of audience and would also not be accepted so readily. It is the subject matter that appeals to the target demographic, rather than the language. The ideas introduced and discussed in the article, such as what is life all about, why do bad things happen to good people, is there a reason? All these topics interest the target audience.
The layout of the article also assists in persuading the readers. The main picture, which spreads across two pages, is a colourful, very bright, has pictures of the friends and all the sketches of what the sass and bide collection is about. These pictures, paintings and clippings further enhance the title, which suggests that grieving in a colourful manner and using friendship as an inspiration is a great way to deal with a loss. In order to further persuade the target demographic, the journalist has incorporated several language techniques in order to convince the reader of just how genuine the friendship and love was in the article.
In several sections of the article, quotes and things people did were included in the text. An example of this is when the husband of the lady that is dying says what he loved about his wife. The lady’s friend then goes on to back up his stories. Throughout the article the designer from sass and bide talks about how much she connected with the sick lady and how she cant stop thinking about what they discussed. However, not all techniques and aspects which construct an article are visible to the naked eye. One of the most commonly used techniques is the bias of one side, at the exclusion of another.
The excluded opinions are often referred to as the gaps and silences, or silenced voices. In this article, the main excluded groups are the educational toys’ spokesperson or manufacturer, parents, users of educational products and also experts on the positives and negatives of the products’ use. While the article promotes attention and extended physical contact between parents and babies, it does not mention any negatives, or the possibility of giving too much attention. By not including these opinions and ideas or the positives of educational products, a strong biased is created.
As there is only one side presented, readers often base their opinions on these facts and points, and do not resist what is being offered. However, not all techniques and aspects which construct an article are visible to the naked eye. One of the most commonly used techniques is the bias of one side, at the exclusion of another. The excluded opinions are often referred to as the gaps and silences, or silenced voices. In this article, there are no main groups excluded groups. All the necessary people to do with the story are mentioned. The text also does not mention any negatives.
However, it would defeat the purpose of the article if there were but fortunately there are not any. In conclusion, many techniques and strategies are employed by journalists when writing and producing articles. Articles are written with a strong purpose, and are often written in order to manipulate the readers’ opinions. This can be done through bias, gaps and silences, the targeting of a specific demographic and also the tone it is written in. It is important to remain unaffected by the article, and to critically observe it through different viewpoints.