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Guide to an English newspaper

Usually the material in average “popular” newspaper falls roughly into 4 groups: first of all, reading matter-news and feature articles; second – photographs; third – advertisements and announcements; and last – sports news. The material is distributed over 6-8 or 8-12 pages. It may vary and usually depends upon the newspaper. The front page and two or four of the inside pages mostly carry news. So we can call them news pages, though they may also carry small feature stories. The main feature article is published on the central page. Page 6 or 7 is usually devoted to any problem that deserves the serious treatment. Next page is usually a weekly arts page that brings together the newspaper’s extensive coverage of music, theatre, arts and dance. The last but one page is very much like a mixed bag, where we find a motley assortment of news, news brief: elections, government appointments and so on. And finally, the last page deals with sports.

Now let’s take any issue of a newspaper and have a closer look at the make-up of its pages. The front page story is the major story of an issue. Like all major stories it takes most of the front page. It is printed under a banner headlines, which splashes across the pages. It may also be called ‘streamer’ or ‘streamer headline’.

The editorial, if any, or the leading article is on the second page. It is printed under the department heading “Comments”. The editorial expresses the policy of the paper. When the editorial deals with only one topic, the make-up subeditor might use stars that break up the editorial into 2 or 3 parts, thus making it easier for an eye.

Apart from the leading article on page 2 we find a number of news stories dealing with world news. These stories are carried under the department heading “World News”.

Much of the space on the feature pages is devoted to feature articles which are newspaper stories that include background information on the specific subject and the writer’s opinion. Besides feature and regular columns, the make-up of these pages is brightened by pictures, advertisements, TV and radio programmes and regular items of a more entertainment character.

You can also find the Books page which appears every week and informs readers by providing book reviews, or it may be the Women’s page devoted to women’s problems.

Most of the space of the news pages of a paper is taken up by news items, news stories and reports, covering the international and domestic scenes.

The news pages have many different headings so that when you are pressed for time you can read the paper by skimming the headlines to get the general drift of events.

The advertisement that appear on the last page advertise amusements, inform readers of social events classified by their subjects into “Situations Vacant”, “Deaths”, “Legal Notices” and so on. These ads are headed “Classified” and are known as “The smalls”. The ads other than classified are called “Display advertisements”. These ads are highly profitable source of income to all newspapers.

Ex. 2. Read the following sentences and translate them into your native language. Pay attention to the words in bold type. Make sure that you know the pronunciation and the meaning of new words.

1. The president’s visit is extensively covered by mass media.

2. It is difficult for the media to cover the growing number of crises throughout the world.

3. The media power can be used destructively or constructively.

4. The White House doesn’t let any member of the news media report on what is going to be in the speech until the president delivers it.

5. The trial attracted media attention unlike any seen before. The government has been particularly annoyed at what they are calling a hostile media campaign.

6. Another satellite network, Sky television, is owned by the media tycoon Mr. Robert Murdoch.

7. The press gave an extensive coverage to the recent election campaign.

8. The mass circulation tabloids display their usual interest in sensation.

9. Friday night television audiences and Saturday newspaper readership are, apparently, lower than mid-week’s.

10. The British national press is referred to as Fleet Street, although no national paper is now produced in this London street.

11. With rapidly falling circulation figures, journalists have demanded the editor’sdismissal.


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