As part of my GCSE Citizenship coursework I had to compare two newspaper articles [“Asylum meltdown” (the sun 20/01/03) with “The fight for tolerance” the (guardian 20/01/03)] and discuss to an extent their point of views, their language, effectiveness, typographic techniques, and persuasiveness on the issue and then give my point of view, explaining clearly my ideas with references to evidence.
The sun gives an angry report of the increasing number of asylum seekers and the immense irreversible damage this is causing our economic system shaking its very foundations. The article is completely one sided i.e. anti asylum seekers, labelling them all under one group – illegal immigrants who are causing terror and most are Muslims (Algerians, Ethiopians…)
To get its point across it uses exaggerated facts and charts which will only help it get its readers angry and outraged. It used couched in vocabulary, designed to inflame anti- asylum seekers feelings. It describes asylum seekers with words or phrases such as ‘illegal immigrants that swarm into Britain’, ‘claiming benefits at the expense of tax payers’, ‘taking advantage’, ‘using Britain as doormat ‘, ‘asylum madness’, etc.
It uses bold letters to emphasise the failure of our government to control the problems , ‘fails’, ‘generous handouts’, ‘time for action’.
The sun has titled its article ‘Asylum meltdown’ reflecting that the situation needs to be cracked, asylum seekers need to be sorted and the government needs to be revived.
They used a picture effective in its purpose to support a negative and imbalanced article. The picture shows asylum seekers masked and crossing barriers, a representation of the border of the country, showing us that instead of using the gate they are coming in illegally.
Its banner “Read this and get angry” is bold and highlighted summarising the whole article. The article is about how, now it’s time for action against asylum seekers, for they are going to lead our economy to a downfall. The whole affair is causing us great loses, it implies as new school, houses and hospitals would need to be build to suffice the added demand on these already stretched resources. The letter to the Prime minister is the pushing object of the article.
The guardian’s “fight for tolerance” takes a different prospective on the issue. It say’s that ‘the panic over asylum seekers is only the first part of a war that will be waged against liberal values’. M. Bunting is saying that this problem over asylum seekers is not something that is new but has always been the case, that is, natural fear like at the time of the Nazis. The newspapers are making the situation worse (like the Sun) by exaggerating and interpreting the wrong ideas. One minute the Algerians were considered terrorist the next moment all the asylum seekers are classed as terrorist. Not just one but lots of newspapers are doing this which is causing unwarranted panic. It does not matter if an immigrant changes his name today, for he cannot escape the racial suspicions surrounding asylum seekers.
Today there is a risk of interracial terrorism it does not matter which side of the political system a person stands. There are two sides to the problem, asylum seekers have the right to seek help and asylum but under the suspicion of terrorism. The fact that Islamic foreigners can be terrorist seems frightening. As the economy grew, many thought that things would improve but that does not seem to be the case. Liberal views have led to many problems for they have no qualms about allowing people of different race and nationality to immigrate but doctrine religious intolerance. The in secularity needs to be lost, what remains is to ask ‘is individual freedom is more important than national security’?
The Guardian places a rational argument which lays out facts and historical data than is asking the reader to exercise his mind and be tolerant.
The readers of the guardian are the middle class well educated people who would not accept the Sun’s point of view since it is bias and directed towards the lower working class individuals who are “sheep that are lead”.
The Guardians language is to stir intellectual abilities. They have a sophisticated vocabulary and a complex argument. The poster they use is quite reprehensive of a disaster or a chaotic situation. The poster is screaming out “What is the world coming to?”
Both the sun and the guardian have a different target audience and are persuasive in their area. The sun is for the lower working class as already understood and thus it is stirring its readers just to believe what they read. The sun does not allow its readers to think for them selves and they will not think for themselves. The sun exaggerates and is unbiased. The guardian though is asking its readers to think and thus they both have a different point of view with different motives and aims. Therefore it is debateable as to which of them is more persuasive.
I personally am a strong supporter of the guardian’s article which argues that what we are doing is wrong. As a nation we need to consider our security and safety but we cannot class all asylum seekers as terrorists for they have rights over us and we need to understand their pain or suffering that have lead many genuine asylum seekers here, which we cannot understand sitting in a centrally heated house with all the basic luxuries and talking. Thus we need to “fight for tolerance”.
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