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Readability in British Newspapers: A Comparison between a Broadsheet and a Tabloid
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, English.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In Britain, newspapers can be classified into two different groups, broadsheets and tabloids, depending on which type of reader they target. It is assumed that newspapers adapt the language used to the audience aimed for. This means that, with different styles of language, some newspapers are more difficult to read than others. In this study, ten articles have been taken into consideration--five from the broadsheet The Guardian and five from the tabloid The Daily Mirror--to investigate what differences and similarities can be found between the newspapers on the basis of readability. Two specific measures of text complexity were analysed: (i) sentence length, using a readability formula, and (ii) sentence complexity, comparing the number of subordinated, coordinated and simple sentences. Taking Flesch’s Reading Ease Scale into consideration, the scores suggest that The Guardian articles were slightly more difficult to read than The Daily Mirror articles. A close analysis of sentence complexity revealed that subordinated sentences are more frequent in The Guardian than in The Daily Mirror, which means that text complexity is higher in the broadsheet. To summarize, factors as sentence length and complexity show that the broadsheet may be more complex and difficult to read than the tabloid.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Readability, Reading Ease, Flesch’s formula, text complexity, newspapers, newspaper language
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-21124OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-21124DiVA: diva2:906043
Available from: 2016-02-23 Created: 2016-02-23

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