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Differing Opinions In 2 Articles On Tragic Death Of Australian Television Personality, Charlotte Dawson

1102 words - 5 pages


In February of 2014, Australian television personality, Charlotte Dawson committed suicide and the story was explored in media. Amy Harris presented the “Tragic End to TV Beauty’s Life of Drama”, published by The Advertiser on the 23/2/14 and “Charlotte Dawson: ’We Miss Her Terribly’” was written online for the Otago Daily Times, with an unpublished author name, on the 25/2/14. The Advertiser displayed an informative text compared to the Otago Daily Times article which was seen as a persuasive piece. Audience, purpose, context, form and language are communicated in the contrasting articles.

The target audience of The Advertiser is those situated in South Australia as it ...view middle of the document...

The main purpose to inform was expressed with more depth in The Advertiser in contrast to the other text. Amy Harris presented specific background information on Dawson’s life prior to her suicide as she was not well known in Adelaide, and the ‘highs and lows’ segment was also informative, providing succinct details on her life experiences.

The Advertiser and the Otago Times Daily are written within somewhat different contexts. With celebrity culture having a large importance within our society, knowing that Dawson was only known in some world regions, Amy Harris assumed the target audience to be uneducated of Dawson’s life experiences. In The Advertiser life experiences were presented sporadically throughout describing her “battling depression”, “living a life full of contradictions” and becoming an “anti-bullying advocate”. In comparison, the Otago Daily Times gave little to no background knowledge to readers as she was brought up in New Zealand and her story is already in context. Also in recent years, celebrity suicide has not been uncommon. According to the website ”NWO Insider ”, the celebrities, Lee Thomson Young (September 2013), Corey Monteith (July 2013), Mindy McCready (February 2013), Mark Balelo (February 2013) and Gia Allemand (August 2013) all committed suicide in the last year highlighting the prevalence of suicide and how common it is in current society and therefore it is not unusual for this to occur. Mental health is also described within context in both articles. The Advertiser comments on Dawson being in a “very bad shape emotionally” as well as the Otago Daily Times revealing that she had previous “apparent suicide attempts”. Also, both articles have helpline services included within each article. This allows the reader to understand that mental health issues are increasingly common in modern day society and need to be supported. Many people who die by suicide are known to have a mental or drug-related illness or other social risk factors. Reporting the underlying causes of suicide can help dismiss myths and increase community understanding1. Media is also a dominant societal factor and has been referred to in both articles. “Twitter” is said to be the reason why suspicion of death occurred among all followers. The Otago Daily Times stated that the celebrity was “tweeting all afternoon” but when her account fell silent, it had fallen silent “for the last...

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