Comparison of Two Pieces of Media
Dr Harold Shipman, a previously trusted family doctor, was found
guilty of murdering 15 of his patients, in February 2000. 'The
Guardian' newspaper and the 'Panorama' television show both made
in-depth reports of these atrocities. Both contained the same
information and had the same purpose, but they are presented in
completely different ways, and are intended for different audiences.
In this essay I am going to compare the different presentational
devices used and describe their effectiveness.
The two different reports on Dr Harold Shipman contain roughly the
same information, but they have presented the information that would
apply to their target audience. They have also gone into more detail
about parts of the case that they feel are important. The way that
their reports were presented depended on the type of media they used.
The newspaper, because it had limited space, had to make their report
short and to the point, only including the most important information.
The 'Panorama' documentary included interviews with the families of
the victims, friends of Shipman and even a patient who escaped his
wrath. The newspaper contained a few interviews, but because it was
written, it couldn't have the same effect as the interviews in the
documentary. The interviews in 'Panorama' were much more convincing
than the ones in the newspaper. The interviews take up less space in a
television show than in a newspaper, so most of the time, the
newspaper will only include the most important parts of the interview,
or maybe even sometimes miss out parts of the interview to influence
the readers mind.
Harold Shipman's final victim was Cathleen Grundy. Shipman killed her,
the forged her will, and inherited her Â£386,000 estate. 'The Guardian'
writes only a small sentence on this case:
"â€¦and forging the Â£386,000
will of his final victim."
Yet the documentary had a whole piece on the Cathleen Grundy case. It
shows a re-construction of the murder, it shows the Â£386,000 estate
that was in her will, and it also shows interviews with Cathleen
Grundy's family. This is significant because this case was the one
that finally brought Shipman to justice.
'Panorama' was a special show, broadcasted after the watershed (9pm).
This means that the show was deemed unsuitable for younger viewers. I
agree with the makers of the show, the things that Shipman did were
horrifying, and not for the ears or eyes of children. The grotesque
details that were in the documentary were left out of the newspaper
report, this is because they can't control who reads their newspaper.
They can't go into too much detail as the information may offend some
The content of the newspaper article is mainly about Harold Shipman's