Course: The Society and Culture of Major English-speaking Countries

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					Course: The Society and Culture of Major English-speaking Countries

Instructor: Mr. Zhang

2004-1-8




                Newspapers in Britain and the USA



                                Outline



A. Introduction: my intention

B. Body:

   a. Early newspapers in Britain and the USA

   b. Daily newspapers in Britain

   c. Daily newspapers in the USA

   d. Sunday newspapers in Britain and the USA

C. Conclusion: my understanding

D. Reference.




                                                        From: 黄秋虹
                                                        Class 2, Grade 1
                                                              010214210
     The American humorist, Will Rogers, used to say, “All I know is what I read in
the newspaper.” This was an exaggeration for humorous purpose, but it is true that
reading newspapers can widen our scope of knowledge, enrich us with common sense,
and improve English-learner’s competence, thus I took the the Reading Course in
American and British News Publications this semester. Getting more familiar with
newspapers reading, I decide to make a comparison of newspapers in Britain and the
USA for this course paper.

                         Early newspapers in Britain and the USA

     The United Kingdom has one of the world’s oldest established newspaper
industries, which can be dated back to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century
when the British economy began to industrialize and the democratic franchise was
extended to larger segments of the population and the rising literacy levels resulted
form the introduction of mass education did great contribute to the appearance of
more and more newspapers. But according to the Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth
Edition (2001), the first daily paper in England was the Daily Courant (1702). While
in the United States, 82 years later, the first daily, the Pennsylvania Packet and
General Advertiser, appeared in Philadelphia.

                            Daily newspapers in Britain

      There are now more than 1400 different newspapers that cater for all walks of
life, among which there are about 130 daily newspapers and 11 of them are delivered
nationwide. There are two kinds of newspaper. One is large in size and has many
detailed articles about national and international events. These newspapers are called
the serious papers or the quality papers. The other kind, called the popular papers or
the tabloids is smaller in size, have more pictures, often in color, and shorter articles,
often about less important events or about the private lives of well-know people.
Although some people disapprove of the tabloids, more people buy them than buy the
serious newspaper. For most British people, most days starts with a look at the
morning newspaper. On an average day, 90 per cent of Britons over the age of 15 read
a national or local paper, which makes British newspaper culture differ from
American newspaper culture where newspaper reading is mainly middle-class habit.
Therefore, Britain has one of the highest levels of newspaper sales per head of
population. And newspaper plays an important role, together with other means of
media, in producing a national culture. People from different parts of the country all
share the same experience. Even though they might live on the coast of Scotland or in
Belfast or in London or in Welsh, if they were to meet, they could discuss what they
had read or seen and this would remind them that as people living in Britain they are
all part of a particular culture. Besides, there are daily newspapers in all parts of
Britain that cover local news as well as some national and international stories. Local
papers give information about films, concerts, and other things that are happening in
the local neighborhood, including, for example, information about local people who
have been married or died recently. (National papers generally give information about
film, concerts and other events happening in London).

                               Daily newspapers in the USA

      There are more than 1500 daily newspapers in the US, of which fewer are
available throughout the whole country, USA today and the National edition of the
New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor, to name just a few. Another two
newspapers, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post are know and respected
all over the US but cannot be bought everywhere. Some other important newspapers
are: the Boston Globe, sold in New England, the Chicago Tribune, sold in the
Midwest, and the Washington Post on the East Coast. So, people from different parts
of this vast land might not be able to talk as the Britons do without difficulty in
discussing the news issues from the papers they read. In larger cities there is often
more than one newspaper and the different ones express different political opinions.
As the U.S. population in the latter half of the 20th cent has shifted from cities to
suburbs, and with the growth in competition from other media, many large city
newspapers have had to cease publication, merge with their competitors, or be taken
over by a chain of newspaper publishers. And in the 1960s a group of newspapers
began to appear that were later called in “alternative press”. They expressed extreme
political opinions, especially left-wing opinion. Many of the newspapers, which were
part of this movement, such as the Village Voice in New York or the Reader in
Chicago, are less extreme today and more widely read. One more thing that is unique
to the newspaper in the USA is that a number of American newspapers are published
in languages other than English. An example of a foreign-language paper published in
an urban area is El Diário in New York.. This, to some extend, reflects American’s
“melting pot” characteristics. The population of the United States includes a large
variety of ethnic groups coming from many races, nationalities, and religions.

                       Sunday newspapers in Britain and the USA

    Daily newspapers are published on every day of the week except Sunday in Britain. Sunday
newspapers are larger than daily newspapers, often having 2 or 3 sections. There is also other a
magazine, called the color supplement. All the Sunday newspapers are national Serious
newspapers include the Observer, the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph and the Independent
on Sunday, the Sunday Mirror, the Sunday Express, the News of the World and the Sunday Sport
which is considered to lack much serious information. And in the USA, Sunday newspapers are
more or less the same. Sunday newspapers, which are delivered on Sunday as well, are
very big, often having several separate parts. They contain many longer articles and a
lot of advertisements. Each section deals with a different subject. E.g. national and
international news, sport, travel, etc. One section, the classifieds has advertisements
for jobs and things for sale. Another section is called the funnies. There is often also a
magazine, which is in color.

     In conclusion, British newspapers succeed in engendering a national culture
while American newspapers display its country’s multicultural characteristics. And
both of these two developed countries have long established it newspaper industries
and people are always choosing to read the newspaper according to their own taste
and political beliefs and most of the readers have the strong awareness of what their
governments are doing and the problems their countries my be facing and they are
completely free to express their own opinions all the time.


Reference:

    朱永涛. John hill and others. An Introduction to The Society and Culture of
    Major English-Speaking Countries. Book One.(英语国家社会与文化入门
    上册). 北京:高等教育出版社,1997.

    “Newspaper.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, sixth edition. 2001.

                                                〈       〉
    赵宝斌,2000,“Newspapers in Britain and the USA”,〈英语辅导报〉(大
    学教师版)第一期。

				
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