Free «Analysis of the Same News Coverage on CBS, ABC and Fox News» Essay Paper

Free «Analysis of the Same News Coverage on CBS, ABC and Fox News» Essay Paper


Mass communication technologies and possibilities are developing progressively. The modern society is open, and there is a strong inclination to use communication widely and universally. The open communication is the main reason for the television broadcasting companies to offer their audiences various formats of programs.

At the same time, every company operates with the help of its particular tools, style and mood. The variations in these elements make the same event look differently. The same news can be presented with different headlines, in different tones, with the usage of various stylistic devices. Every story is told for some purposes, which in their turn determine the plot and the reaction of the audience. In this way, different television networks present the same news in different manners. The same information creates different impressions on the people who receive this information.

A bright example is the news chosen for this paper. It is the skeleton of dinosaur Dippy, which has been greeting the visitors of Natural History Museum in London for more than a century. On the 29 of January, the Museum announced that the skeleton is going to be replaced by the skeleton of the blue whale. As a result, different media mention different key facts and ideas. Besides, the analysis of this news coverage by the three popular American television networks, namely CBS, ABC and Fox News, allows to reach some conclusions.


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The CBS: “Uproar after UK Museum Announces Dippy the Dinosaur to Be Retired”

The CBS’s piece of news has the headline “Uproar after UK museum announces Dippy the Dinosaur to be retired” (CBS Interactive & AP, 2015). Everyone who looks at the headline immediately finds out that there was an announcement, gets is main point, and understands the fact that people felt upset. In this news, there is information about the attitude of Dippy’s fans towards the retirement, the size and physical characteristics of the diplodocus, historical facts about both the dinosaur and its plaster replica, the reasons for the replacement, and possibilities for the fake skeleton. There are two persons whose opinions are presented to the audience. They are the Natural History Museum director, Michael Dixon, and the children’s author Kames Mayhew (CBS Interactive & AP, 2015).

The ABC: “Biggest Controversy in England Right Now Is Over a Fake Dinosaur”

The piece of news presented by the ABC has the headline “Biggest controversy in England right now is over a fake dinosaur” (Hasan, 2015). The heading, as well as the message in general, is more emotional. In the first sentence, the audience is reminded that there is the skeleton in the Natural History Museum. Further, the author tells about Dippy’s physical characteristics, and mentions a blue whale, whose skeleton will be next to greet the visitors. Besides, there are some historical facts about the dinosaur. There are two leader opinions of Richard Sabin, collection manager for vertebrates in the department of life sciences, and Dippy’s fan Peter Townsend. The news ends with the reassurance of the upset fans and information about the Dippy’s future (Hasan, 2015).

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The Fox News: “Ageism Claims Dippy”

Finally, the third coverage by the Fox News includes the information about the retirement, its reasons and Dippy’s fate. Besides, the author tells more about the whale. The opinion of the director Dixon is the key background of the story (Stirwalt, 2015).

What are the three different points of view? Are they objective or subjective? How do different sources demonstrate that point of view? What was included? What was omitted?

  1. The CBS’s Point of View

The CBS news is focused on the facts rather than on emotions. The audience finds a serious headline, figures and names. However, the author’s main aim is to show the ambiguity of the situation, but at the same time to stay detached. He presents the opposition between the museum’s director and Dippy’s defender. This piece of news ends with the information about the tour, which is not satisfactory for Dippy’s fans. That is why it is difficult to determine what audience this information is targeting.

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 The authors are objective. They show the opposing opinions equally, avoiding their own emotions’ presence in the news. Not much information about the whale’s skeleton demonstrates that it is not important. People even do not want to know this information. The protest of people is shown in rather neutral words: “fans are not happy, “drew protest”, “recalled childhood visits”, “express outrage” (CBS Interactive & AP, 2015). In general, this coverage is neutral and balanced. After a very attentive look at it, one will not say that it lacks anything. The information seems to be full and clear.

  1. The ABS’s Point of View

The ABC’s coverage is more emotional than the CBS’s and Fox News’ variants. The tone of the news seems to be slightly sarcastic due to words the author has used and the structure of the story. The headline “The biggest controversy…” is bewildering, and it “seems like there is nothing to talk about in England but about the fake dinosaur” (Hasan, 2015). Comparing to the CBS news, here there are more facts about the whale, which will replace the dinosaur, which proves that there is nothing awful in such a replacement.

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The more sophisticated language and numerous stylistic devices like “lovingly known”, “cult following”, “a social media firestorm” and many others helps to make the right effect (Hasan, 2015). Everything in this coverage is exaggerated. It is clear that this exaggeration is aimed to show that the effect announcement produced is not as important as it may seem.

One of the most interesting facts here is the appearance of two opposing thoughts several times, one by one. It makes the audience smile and think about the issue as not a serious one. The general tone of the message reassures that nothing will really change. The protest of the fans is expressed by emotional words, which again points at the unjustified exaggeration of the problem. The author aimed to show how funny sometimes the fans are           .

Here are some examples of the words used: “the decision has ignited a social media firestorm”, “there is EVEN an online petition”, “disappointed Dippy lover”, “…but tell that to Townsend!”, “silver lining for Dippy fans” (Hasan, 2015). Although the coverage is too emotional and slightly sarcastic, the actual idea of the authors is serious and adequate. It is hidden in the very last sentence, where the words of the director reassure the audience: "Dippy will still be around and very much a part of the museum" (Hasan, 2015). The conclusion that comes into mind is that Dippy will still be “alive”.

  1. The Fox News’ Point of View

The Fox News’ coverage is the most objective one. Its headline “Ageism claims Dippy” is the most emotional part of this piece of news (Stirwalt, 2015). The author mentions the Mirror as the source of the information (Stirwalt, 2015). Once again, the audience receives reasonable arguments in whale’s favor, historical facts and serious support. Here the information about the whale persuades the audience that this animal deserves attention and is a worthy replacement for Dippy. It needs to be mentioned that there is not a word about the protest, fans or other subjective opinions. Here one finds the facts and only useful information for the audience. The vocabulary of the news is pleasant. The ambiguous tone resembles the one in the CBS’s news. On one hand, the author likes Dippy. He proves it by such words as “iconic member”, “forcing retirement”, “forced out” (Stirwalt, 2015). On the other hand, the whale is presented with respect. The words “female blue whale arrived” and the facts that the whale was forgotten not because it is less significant that Dippy make the audience like the replacement (Stirwalt, 2015).

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The Representation of Various Social Groups in the News Under Analysis

Three social groups can be distinguished. They are:

  • The Museum (competent people who decided to remove the dinosaur);
  • The fans (upset people who are against this decision, because they think that Dippy is the best skeleton to greet the visitors and has become “the face of London”);
  • Potential fans of the whale (mentioned ecologists and biologists, who will be interested in dealing with the real skeleton of the whale).

In the neutral CBS’s piece of news opposing groups are represented equally right and competent. Both ideas deserve attention and have their advantages. In fact, the news does not have a single meaning. It does not help the audience to make one conclusion concerning the better point of view. For example, the arguments of the Museum sound serious and persuasive. According to them, the change was a part of a 10-year overhaul of the museum, "focusing on the real and authentic” (CBS Interactive & AP, 2015). The Museum’s director claims that fans love not Dippy, but his plaster replica, which is one of the many other replicas in the world. At the same time, the opposing point of view is represented by the respected person, the author of children’s literature: "Nothing can quite capture the imagination of children in the same way that dinosaurs do", "I would like to think there's a chance that they might reconsider" (CBS Interactive & AP, 2015). He craves for the reconsideration of the decision, but seems to accept the choice of competent people. He is also a fan, but not a ridiculous one.

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The representation of fans in ABC’s material looks funny and less serious. This contrast makes the audience think over the issue in the way the Museum shows it. Thus, the audience makes the conclusion that there is nothing awful about the situation, and turns into fans, like the ones mentioned in the CBS’s coverage. In general, the upset fans demonstrate “cult following” in the explanations of Dippy’s significance and online petitions, as opposed by the adequate and competent Museum (Hasan, 2015). The replacement occurs not because of the love towards the whale, but because it is much more suitable and quite right (Hasan, 2015).

On the contrary, the Fox News do not provide any information about the protest. Therefore, the representatives of the Museum look even more competent than in two other news (Stirewalt, 2015). At the same time, the CBS news aim to show the both sides equally and to let the audience make the choice. The ABC’s aim is to show that fans look too emotional and even ridiculous, as they do not want even to accept another point of view. They do not think that the idea accepted by scientists, historians and other competent parties interested in the whale might be well grounded and reasonable. Eventually, the audience agrees with the Museum’s point of view. The Fox news lacks the information about the fans intentionally. They, as well as the CBS, wanted the audience to decide whether the news is good or bad, and this decision is not grounded on someone else’s views.

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What Is the Purpose of This News Coverage?

After all, the primary purpose of each network was to inform the audience about Dippy’s retirement. The CBS and the Fox News did it in a traditional way. On the contrary, the ABC aimed not just to inform and show facts. The author demonstrated his subjective attitude and definitely entertained those who are not related to the problem. The tone of ABC’s story is not serious enough to be taken at face value. In this way, the news seems to be sensationalized for entertainment. At the same time, all three pieces make audience think about the role that natural history plays in our lives. The protest mentioned in the CBS version is reasonable as well as the arguments of the Museum presented by the ABC.


The analysis of the coverage of the same news on three different TV networks allows making the following conclusions. Every company operates with its own tools, has its style and mood. This is the main reason why the same event looks differently. Different headlines, tones, and words are addressed to different people, who eventually will agree with the information. In fact, the purposes of the news analyzed were similar, but the tools the authors used were different. As a result, all the news informed the people about the fact of Dippy’s replacement and showed that there is nothing special about it. News is just one more event in this world, which is justified by the competent people, who continue contributing to the development of the modern science.

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