Critical Analysis Of Jeremy Clarkson’s Work

1760 words - 7 pages

Critical Analysis of Jeremy Clarkson’s work

The two pieces of journalism chosen for this analysis are Jeremy
Clarkson’s report on a short visit to Iraq 18 months on from the
supposed end of the war there in 2003, and John Pilger’s article
concerning his arrival in, and initial experience of, Saigon during
the Vietnam war in 1966. These two reports, and reporters, make a
handy comparison.

Although Jeremy Clarkson is viewed principally as motoring journalist
he has the ability to adapt his journalistic skills to a range of
subjects, some far removed from cars. For his motoring column in the
Sunday Times Clarkson’s style is humorous bordering on sarcasm, which
works well and this style translates well to the subject of the
controversial war in Iraq. The Sunday Times is a quality broadsheet
newspaper aimed at the upper end of Britain’s readership and is a
market leader with an average Sunday sale of 1,395,046 copies, which
represents a 50.58% share of this area of the market. Clarkson, being
an out and out Conservative, is immediately identifiable with the
readership of the Sunday Times, and his ‘overgrown schoolboy’ approach
presents as a welcome relief amongst the principally serious
editorials of the papers other journalists. In ‘Behind Jeremy Lines’
the situation in Iraq is revealed as totally opposite to what the
politicians would have us believe, this is made apparent in the title
of the article. Behind the lines in a military sense and behind the
lines of what is being reported. Clarkson takes the opportunity here
to ‘bash’ two of his pet hatreds, Blair’s Labour Party and the Bush
administration of the U. S.A. The article is not directly open in this
respect and some kind of fairness in the balance is retained, but the
suggestion of what is being reported is very evident.

With the passing of 18 months since the supposed end of the war in
Iraq we are led to believe that law and civilised order has been
restored, but this is very defiantly not the case, the British public
are, of course, aware of this but are told something different. This
situation is highlighted well with the comment: “Mr Blair always makes
it sound like Burton on Trent over there. But do you know what? He’s
lying”. This is a powerful statement, which reflects the state of
affairs, capitalisation of this point is used to draw the attention of
the reader.

With the use of proper nouns, such as ‘Apache gunships, Hellfire
missiles, Special Forces, Hercules, Tristar, the military aspect of
the report is brought into context. The reality of what is occurring
in Iraq is combined with these by mention of Iraqi ‘insurgents’ who
‘lie in wait with rocket propelled grenades and anti-aircraft
missiles, the war in Iraq is not over as it has turned to guerrilla
warfare. At the same time the political background is...

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