In Week one of Comm11007 we get settled in with an introduction to Media Writing. The task this week is to review and compare the method the same story is presented in different ways.
Story #1 ‘NRL takes control of Gold Coast Titans’:
This story about the National Rugby League taking control of the Gold Coast Titans Football Club due to bankruptcy, is easy to understand.
Its format and structure is clear and I personally found reading it to be effortless due to the space between each paragraph.
NRL and general sport fans along with supporters of the Gold Coast Titans could be considered the audience for this news release.
The angle predominately paints a positive image of the NRL for taking over the ownership, reassuring fans of the long-term future of the club.
The key message in the statement is that the NRL has taken over ownership of the Gold Coast Titans and wants to stabilise its future more than anything else.
By using verbs such as secure, ensure and stabilise it is obvious that the main intention of this news release is to comfort fans.
Another example of this is the expression ‘Long term future’ being referenced twice, foregrounding the writers key message of reassurance.
Story #2 ‘Five-year blueprint convinced NRL boss to save Titans just weeks before Gold Coast NRL club would have folded’
The audience for this story could be described as residents of the Gold Coast as it is posted on the Gold Coast Bulletin’s website. Residents who perhaps aren’t necessarily fans of the football club but still about the area’s current events.
This story is a detailed and truthful account that gives readers the facts without a bias opinion.
The angle focuses on gaining the supporters trust again, which could be highlighted by a board member claiming, ‘This is about long-term sustainability, the fans and community.’
The key message throughout this story is that the Titans Football club is not perfect due to its history with drug scandals as well as financial problems yet the NRL and the club will do their best to ‘build a club on pride and respect. That’s what we’re going to deliver.’
This story for me was too long and detailed, although I am not the intended audience, I personally feel that it could have been shorter or more direct in order for me to enjoy reading it.
Story #3 ‘Gold Coast Titans taken over by NRL, placed in voluntary administration after drugs scandal’
National ABC newsreaders, along with Titans, football and general sport fans could be considered the intended audience for this story.
The angle of the story is focused on the NRL’s status with the Titans and getting the club back on track.
The key message could be considered neutralising the drug scandal and focusing on the future of the club. Also expressing the NRL’s commitment to the Gold Coast region.
What I found interesting is that the first two stories do not mention the fact that the club went into voluntary administration prior to the NRL taking the reins, something that could potentially harm the image of the club.
Overall the variety of the three stories covering the same topic, canvasses how the style of a story and how it is written can alter the way it is interpreted by readers.
For example the first story, which is a news release, is short, positive and a somewhat sugar coated take on the event. Its purpose was to show both the club and the NRL in a light hearted, heroic, and positive light.
The second story could be considered ‘the middleman’, with less bias than the first story but more dramatic than the third. Its intention seems to be trying to evoke emotions by using dramatic words such as ‘crisis’, ‘save’ and ‘shock waves’.
The third story is the most factual and neutral, which informs the reader, enabling them to form their own opinion.
Research of media explains how people interpret and misinterpret media messages (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith 2012). According to theory of media research audiences are unique in the way they approach stories. Individual experiences form perceptions of communicators and their transmissions (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith 2012). It could be said that this theory applies to these three different stories, as they are all written for various audiences with individual differences.
ABC News Australia 2015, Gold Coast Titans taken over by NRL, placed in voluntary administration after drugs scandal, viewed 14 July 2015, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-24/nrl-takes-over-control-of-gold-coast-titans-amid-drugs-scandal/6247574
Meyn T, Gold Coast Bulletin Australia 2015, Five-year blueprint convinced NRL boss to save Titans just weeks before Gold Coast NRL club would have folded, viewed 14 July 2015, http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/sport/nrl/five-year-blueprint-convinced-nrl-boss-to-save-titans-just-weeks-before-gold-coast-nrl-club-would-have-folded/story-fnj9yd9w-1227237781936
NFL Australia, 2015, NRL takes control of Gold Coast Titans, viewed 14 July 2015, http://www.nrl.com/nrl-takes-control-of-gold-coast titans/tabid/10871/newsid/84020/default.aspx
Whitaker, R, Ramsey, J & Smith, R 2012, Media writing: print broadcast and public relations, 4th edn, Routledge, New York.