Analysing the communication with the rhetorical pentagon


  • What do we know about the journalist, is it a journalist or someone else?


  • Who is the target audience of the newspaper where the article is printed?


  • What is it about? (Short summary)
  • Which news criteria have been important?
  • Timing (aktualitet) – how new is the event?
  • Significance (væsentlighed) – how many people involved, or affected?
  • Identification (identification) – are people or places like us involved?
  • Unexpectedness (sensation) – a rare or seldom event?
  • Conflict (konflikt) – between parts, creating a dramatic effect


  • Vocabulary (word choice, positive, negative?)
  • Language functions (informative, expressive, persuasive)
  • Modes of appeal (logos, pathos, ethos)


  • Media: what newspaper is the article from? What type of newspaper is it? (Broadsheet, tabloid, free sheet) 
  • The Internet: differences from a printed paper? 
  • Relationship between the journalist and the readers? (one-way or dialogue, equality?)


  • To give information
  • To explain the news
  • To give its opinion
  • To give the opinion of others
  • To entertain
  • To give advice

Analysing the contents of newspaper articles


  • News story
  • News analysis
  • Interview
  • Background or feature article
  • Editorial or leader
  • Column
  • Review


                            The news triangle
                            The 5 Ws



  • Photos, graphics?
  • Placement (in the paper/on the side)
  • Headline
  • Fonts
            Banner/nameplate (avisens logo)
            Banner headline (main headline, across the page)
            Strapline (over or under the main headline)        
            Standfirst (underrubrik, manchet)
            Sub-headline/crosshead (mellemrubrik)         
            Byline (name of the writer)
            Caption (text for picture or illustration)

Objectivity and bias

  • Is the article objective or biased (does it have a certain opinion?)
  • Are the readers guided (subconsciously?) to a certain conclusion? (by choice of words, experts, statistics, photos, headlines etc…)

Is this article well written? Does the star shine?