In the Herald Sun on the 26th of October, 2006, a group of young boys from Werribee, landed in the media for appalling acts performed to a developmentally delayed 17-year-old girl. In his article on the issue the 3AW broadcaster and writer, Neil Mitchell, portrays to us his one-sided opinion and disgust towards the teenagers. Mitchell uses an abundance of persuasive techniques to engage and influence the reader, such as repetition, rhetorical questions, a catchy headline and a powerful picture - to name but a few.
Mitchell uses repetition throughout his article to make sure he conveys his message across and make it stick in the reader’s head. “They had modern video equipment. They had computers to edit the filth. They had machinery to burn DVD copies.” In this quote he refers to the boys and blames them not once for their callous acts, but several times. By emphasizing the word “they” he uses repetition not only to help the reader remember what he’s talking about, but also to subtly drag the reader to his viewpoint.
Rhetorical questions are as numerous as they are powerful in Mitchell’s piece. He uses several to make the reader constantly think and further analyse his words. “What transports the ugliness of black rebellion to middle class Melbourne?” He starts this specific argument, by making the reader consider his question and then effectively answers it himself in the following paragraphs, leaving the reader absorb his answer and his perspective.
The catchy headline is much like most of Mitchell’s writing - it’s clear, biased and succinct - just in bigger letters. The heading is two different text sizes, the first part in smaller text is: “Violent rap video culture trashes our youth”, the words which Mitchell uses to briefly describe the teens. Then beneath this, the second part: “Punish this disgrace”, in bigger bold text - to stamp his strong opinion.
The photo in the centre of the article not only complements the story, but shockingly frames...