Papers Reviewed: The Metro, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: May goes into extra time
Author(s): Daniel Binns (Current Affairs and Music)
Analysis: Inform readers about the current Conservative-DUP coalition negotiations and the impacts this may have on Britain. The Metro attempts to tie politics to sports with its headline referencing the France-England friendly played last night. This may be used to generate more interest from members of the public who would not normally bother to read the political news. The tone of article is highly critical of May and the DUP negotiations, pointing out numerous demands and possible conciliations that the Tories will have to agree to in order to hold power. A particular focus is on the return of the ‘troubles’ between religious groups in Northern Ireland, with quotes from the opposing party (to the DUP) showing how precarious the situation is. Overall the article shows readers that the consequences of the possible deal could be bad for the UK, and that when a former PM from your own party warns you to not do something to stay in power then it may not be such a good idea after all!
Topic of article: Politics, European Union
Headline: May told: UK can still back out of Brexit
Author(s): Jessica Elgot (Political Editor), Anushka Asthana (Political Editor)
Analysis: Report on Theresa May’s recent state visit to Paris and the ongoing negotiations surrounding Britain leaving the EU. The Guardian begins with the headline ‘May told…’, an opening statement that sets the tone of the article, with May placed in the position of an embattled and subdued PM who is now taking orders from European and British ministers, rather than giving them. Macron tells her she can still turn back on leaving the EU, a proverbial olive branch or a slight dig at her sudden weakness in negotiations? The Guardian and other left of centre papers often quote the assurances of European politicians that Britain can still reverse its decision, perhaps as a way of weakening the hardline stance that the Conservatives and right-wing media take. The use of words such as ‘tight-lipped’ ‘overshadowed’ and ‘disappointment’ also create a negative impression of May and her current position, showing her as weak and ineffectual. The article then transitions into an analysis of the EU negotiations, where May is shown to be turning back on her previous commitments to a ‘hard Brexit’, again presenting her as weak. There are numerous quotes from Conservative ministers but it would have been nice to have the opinion of a Labour minister or other opposition figure.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Health, NHS
Headline: Cut-price doctor will see you now
Author(s): Claire Duffin (Reporter)
Analysis: Discuss the impact physician associates may have on the NHS and healthcare delivery in the UK. Going with a typical sensationalising headline, the Mail aims to drive up public concern around seeing a ‘cut-price doctor’ by making them imagine they are being called into see one of them. They hope to insinuate that the care you will receive is sub-par, backed up by the paltry two years of training they have before entering the medical profession. The Mail also calls them ‘medics’, suggesting that you may unwittingly be given one of these semi-doctors when you are in grave need of a fully trained medic. The general aim of the article is to raise public awareness of the physician associates program and to create fear that the public will receive poorer medical care as a result. And while these are important concerns that must be addressed there is a lack of self-awareness in the paper, as analysis of the scheme does not considered the impacts of governmental policies and large societal prejudices that result in a cash deficient NHS and poor staffing numbers that originally drove the creation of this scheme, instead approaching the issue as a stand-alone problem. There should have been more quotes from working doctors within the NHS and perhaps physician associates in order to fully understand the respective positions.
Topic of article: Politics, European Union
Headline: Hammond pushes Tories to ditch Brexit trade plan
Author(s): Oliver Wright (Policy Editor), Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor)
Analysis: Report on the negotiations going on within the Conservative party around leaving the EU and the changes that have occurred following the election. The Times focuses on the changing stances on numerous Brexit policies as the Conservatives deal with the fallout of the general election, and presents much of the information as a ‘Times exclusive’. This helps to show readers that the paper gets information that others do not and hopes to build brand loyalty. The bulk of the article focuses on the two camps within the Tory party, the Remainers and Brexiteers and seems to be setting the stage for a larger battle. With the opportunities available to ambitious politicians after the election, the paper seems to be saying, there will be a number of policy flashpoints, with one department even described as being in a ‘street-fighting mode’. Despite all the potentially negative consequences this could have for the Conservatives, their ability to guide a stable government and many local policies the Times does not delve too deeply into the disagreements or likely fallouts, instead choosing to present this as good, almost light-hearted (see ‘street-fighting mode’, like a videogame) discussions, surely not a stance it would have taken were Labour in this position. The paper does a good job of explaining the customs union and how it impacts negotiations for its readers, which allows a deeper understanding of the issues discussed. But it would have been nice to have quotes from the Treasury or other parties involved.
Front page images from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers
Reviewed by: Sam Hewitt