Royal mail

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  • Publié le : 19 octobre 2009
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Introduction 3
Approach to the Matter 4
A general approach 4
A specific approach 5
An entertaining approach. 5
Vocabulary: the author’s choice 7
The titles: 7
In the texts 8
Two similar texts: 9
A “part”-privatisation 11
Conclusion 13
Appendix 14


Besides the red buses and telephone boxes, the red mail boxesare one of the most famous visual symbols of the United Kingdom. They are held by Royal Mail, which is the British postal service. The post office is one of the last public enterprises, which survived from the wave of privatization driven by Margaret Thatcher and John Major in the 80s and 90s.

In February, a bill has yet been published by the government to partly privatise the public service.At the moment, the bill has been introduced in the House of Lords and is due to be read in Parliament in June 2009. The debate has been very intense as this kind of reform is not expected from a Labour government and that opinions inside the labour party are split.

While studying the selected seven articles , the three points of interest will be as follow:
First, we will start with a generaloverview to distinguish the different possible types of approach to the matter, then, we will emphasize the author’s choice regarding the vocabulary. Finally, we will focus on the major differences between a part privatisation and a full privatisation.

Approach to the Matter

Even if we could sort the articles differently, three different approaches can generally be distinguished inarticles of the British press, thus, we can wonder if the choice of approach is linked to the type of readership.

The first approach is a general approach, which means that the article is giving an overview of the matter. In the article, the different key facts and main different points of views are explained. It is an efficient tool for readers, who need comprehensive information on a topic.Usually, this kind of article is considered relatively objective.
The article of the corpus which matches best this description is the text 1: Sell-off 'to save postal service' from BBC News.

BBC News is the official website of the BBC - The British Broadcasting Company. The BBC was born in 1922 and its website launched in 1997. The BBC declares itself as neutral as free from political andcommercial influence, qualities that are also highly acknowledged by most readers and journalists. Also, the BBC is a public funding organisation that has been tight to be objective thanks to the Freedom of Information Act since 2005.
Even if their objectivity has been questioned, the selected article is matching their chart.

The picture chosen to accompany the text is neutral so that the readergets enough information regarding the topic of the article. Then, in the sub-heading, the subject is clearly announced as controversial (page 2, line 6 -7).

Each affirmation comes with its source. The BBC is not adding any particular comment.
The author tries to make it as simple as possible so that the reader gets a fast understanding of the topic and its facts.
• The government’sproposals are listed with bullet points
• One paragraph is dedicated to each argument: “pension deficit”, “job losses” and “door open”.
Therefore, it is possible to confirm that the article is meeting the readers’ expectation, that is to say giving a clear and neutral explanation about a topic. The article could be a reference to distinguish the different arguments of the debate.

Then, we candistinguish a second approach, which we will name a specific approach. This approach is used by three articles of the corpus:
Text 2: Labour members reject Royal Mail selloff plans from The Guardian
Text 3: Brown urges Royal Mail to face facts from The Independent
Text 4: Royal Mail must 'face the facts' of sell-off from The Times Online

These three daily newspapers are acknowledged as...
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