Wednesday 20th September

Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times

The Sunsun.750

Topic of article: Health

Headline: Menopause Miracle

Author(s): Shaun Wooller (Health and Science Reporter)

Analysis:  The Sun reports that a 47 year old woman gave birth to a baby, 7 years after going through the menopause. The article describes how she has “stunned the medical world” and herself as the pregnancy was only picked up at 3 months on an incidental cancer scan. The purpose of the article is not to explain how this “miracle” child occurred, as it provides no explanation from anyone as to how this might have occurred. There is also a risk that it may lead to other women believing that this could happen to them too and, moreover, there is no discussion of the potential risks of having children so late. Oddly this story is 9 months after the baby was born, potentially The Sun waiting for a slow news day or were they just going for some cuteness into the world considering everything else occurring in the news?

 

The Guardianguardian.750

Topic of article:  Politics

Headline: Trump stuns UN with threat to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea

Author(s):  Julian Borger (World Affairs Editor; New York)

Analysis: An unsurprisingly critical account of Trump’s debut speech to the United Nations general assembly. Most of the article is a narration of Trumps speech  with quotes only from Trump himself accompanied by comments such as how the speech was met by “silence” and “alarming murmurs” and how what he was saying didn’t align with the views of the UN. Indeed, the article describes Trump alienating others in the general assembly including “most of Washington’s closest allies” by criticising both the actions of Kim Jong-un in North Korea and the Islamic Republic in Iran. The article is so scathing, including it’s comparisons to “spectre of Bush and ‘axis of evil’” that the quote from Trump saying: “if the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph” appears as if describing how people feel about Trump himself. The comparison to Macron is also pertinent as they appear to be such different leaders elected at a similar time. There is no support of Trump’s words in the article and no other politicians are quoted except in the reference to Bush.

Daily Maildaily_mail.750

Topic of article: Crime; Politics

Headline: Take down hate videos in two hours…or else

Author(s): Jason Groves (Deputy Political Editor; New York)

Analysis: Daily Mail reports that Theresa May will speak at the UN Summit in New York about legislating against companies like Google and Facebook having information that terrorists could use such as ‘how to carry out truck, knife and bomb attacks.’ There are three points to be made about this self-congratulatory article. Firstly, that the Mail once again associates terrorism and the “atrocities on British soil” with “jihadi groups” without providing any explanation to what the word “jihadi” means and therefore allowing the paper to associate them with anyone they choose. Secondly that the article takes the line that May does, that these “technology giants” should be held accountable for hosting such information and if they do not comply with the government’s demands they should be penalised monetarily. Third and finally, that the article describes that this is partially a result (“after Mail campaign”) of the Daily Mail raising the alarm about how easy it was to access such material online. The article mostly quotes from Theresa May herself and no other sources are present in the article. There is no contribution from representatives of Google or Facebook or about how feasible a ban would be on such content.

 

The Timesthe_times.750

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: Johnson to back off in Brexit deal with May

Author(s): Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor; New York), Francis Elliot (Political Editor)

Analysis: The Times continues its reporting on this week of Brexit drama, focussing on Boris Johnson’s “backroom deal” with Theresa May. The paper describes the divided scene of Boris Johnson, who published his own Brexit plan over the weekend, backed by Michael Gove versus Theresa May and Phillip Hammond at the Treasury and others in the ‘Department for Exiting the EU.’ The crux here is presented to be over whether we have a Swiss-style agreement, where Britain pays for access to the single market, or a Canadian-style free-trade deal, preferred by Johnson. The excitement is over the perpetual PR dream that is Johnson and that he threatened to quit as foreign secretary. This has apparently lead to May has making some sort of promise to him about doing Brexit more his way in order to keep the peace. The article doesn’t miss a chance to throw around words like “conspiring” and “ (Johnson) backed down without meaningful concession” to add to the theatre of it all. The article doesn’t provide sources for all of its assertions, rather “it is understood…” and “friends of the foreign secretary.” Moreover this is a focus on the internal element of the Brexit politics rather than the external European view of Britain’s affairs.

 

Front page images from: BBC The Papers (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers) , The Guardian may be better read at the Guardian website or Pressreader (http://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-guardian) or Kiokso ( http://en.kiosko.net/uk/)

Reviewed by: Alice Edwards

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Thursday 14th September 2017

Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times

The Sunsun 14.09

Topic of article: domestic affairs

Headline: Intruder held at George school

Author(s): Mike Sullivan (Crime Editor)

Analysis: This article reports on a potential “security scare” for Prince George, as a woman attempted to get into his school unauthorised twice in a 24 hour period. The incident is treated very seriously by the paper, who describe it as a “major royal security scare”. The gravity of the story is reflected in the size of the font, which towers over the image of Prince George in his school uniform. The headline – which is concise to the point of grammatical incorrectness – gives the story a sense of drama and urgency. In contrast to assessment of the incident as a major security scare, it is later revealed that Prince George was not at the school at the time of the incident, and as such was not in any real danger. The online version of the article (found at https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4458384/prince-george-thomass-battersea-school-woman-arrested-breaking-in/) makes an alarming connection between the incident and nationality, as one eyewitness is noted to say she thought the woman “could be from overseas” because she had witnessed passports being checked, thus subtly supporting anti-immigration views by making a link between non-UK nationals and criminal behaviour. Eyewitnesses and royal representatives are quoted, giving some credibility to the article, but overall the story is reported in a very sensationalist way, as if Prince George had actually been harmed in some way by this event.

 

The Guardianguardian 14.09

Topic of article: Domestic Affairs

Headline: Graham Taylor accused of role in sex abuse cover-up

Author(s): Daniel Taylor (Chief Football Writer)

Analysis: This article reports on an inquiry into historic sexual abuse allegations within English football, focusing on the possible involvement of former England manager Graham Taylor. The article centres on allegations that Taylor, who died earlier this year and is described by the author as “revered and hugely popular”, did not report known cases of paedophilia, and simply told a victim who reported a case of abuse to him to “move on”. The author suggests that Taylor could have prevented further cases of abuse if he had not discouraged victims from reporting the abuse, or if he had reported it himself. His alleged involvement has been framed as a “cover up” of the abuse. The article goes on to focus more widely on the actions of Aston Villa, where Taylor was employed at the time of the abuse, suggesting a more pervasive trend of covering up sexual abuse. The article reports on the findings of the inquiry, and also includes the voice of one sexual abuse victim, Tony Brien. The voice of Dave Richardson, the assistant manager of Aston Villa at the time of the sexual abuse, is noted as lacking from the story, which is explained as his refusal to comment. In place of a comment, the author draws on a letter which was written by Richardson and previous statements given by him. A potential discrepancy between Richardson’s statements and other evidence is used to support the claims of a cover up, adding further drama to the story.

 

The Daily Maildaily mail 14.09

Topic of article: International Affairs

Headline: A hurricane force farce

Author(s): Claire Ellicott (Political Correspondent)

Analysis: The article is reporting on international aid rules set by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which are restricting the access of several British territories that have been affected by Hurricane Irma to foreign aid, on the grounds of their financial status. The article is critical of the OECD rules, as the use of the word “farce” in the title suggests. The author claims that the OECD rules have been blamed for “hampering the relief effort” in the affected islands, which include Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands, although does not state who has voiced this opinion or note other opinions. The islands are described as having been “flattened” by the hurricane, suggesting the level of damage that they have sustained, and thus the ridiculousness of restricting aid to these territories. The author notes several other nations that are eligible for international aid under the OECD rules, which include India and China, which have been described as having “booming economies”, and North Korea. Without commenting on whether the territories should be eligible for aid, the suggestion that India and China would not need international aid based on economic growth seems to ignore their current economic situation somewhat. The inclusion of North Korea in the author’s list seems to serve to rile the audience, by suggesting that the OECD will allow financial support to nations that conflict with Western values, whilst prohibiting financial support for Western territories. It is noted that the islands will still receive £57m from the UK government, but as a result of the OECD rules this has to come from beyond the foreign aid budget, which the author argues has restricted the amount of money they are able to receive. This claim is based on that of an unnamed minister, who is the only source to feature on the front page.

 

The Timestimes 14.09

Topic of article: Economics

Headline: Amazon in £1.5bn tax fraud row

Author(s): Oliver Wright (Policy Editor)

Analysis: The article reports that Amazon was accused yesterday of “failing to cooperate fully” in addressing tax evasion, which some foreign companies who sell through the website may be committing. The article centres on evidence that was presented to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee yesterday by HMRC, whose figures suggest that online retailers, such as Amazon, may be evading tax on up to a third of sales. The impact of the evasion is put in terms of financial impact on the taxpayer – “HMRC estimates that online VAT fraud costs the taxpayer between £1 billion and £1.5 billion a year”. The use of this large figure, which it ought to be noted is not representative of the scale of tax evasion occurring through Amazon, but through all online sellers, exaggerates the scandal of the story, but also connects it to the wider issue of online VAT fraud, while the framing of the effect in terms of taxpayers serves to encourage an emotional response from the audience. HMRC and MPs’ voices are represented in the article, but Amazon representatives do not feature on the front page.

 

Front page images from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers 

Reviewed by: Evelyn Jager

 

Friday 9th September 2017

Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times

The Sun_97713083_sun

Topic of article: Environment

Headline: Irma hell Brits: Get us out of here

Author(s): James Beal (US Editor)

Analysis: The article covers the tragic impact of Hurricane Irma on British tourists abroad including the Royal Navy Task Force’s involvement. The angle of this article is one of interest in the well being of British people who are in the Caribbean, including listing the Navy coming to help “more than 50,000 stricken Brits” and that “at least two Britons were missing.” Irma is described as a “nuclear monster” and “hell” to emphasise the extent of the potential damage and tragedy which is also indicated by describing “islands flattened…expats lost.” The headline including “get us out of here” does suggest comparisons to the many people in the Caribbean who are not able to be rescued by the British Royal Navy, or by any other means, and have had their lives destroyed in this event. Moreover, the use of “expats” is also worth highlighting as it also suggests the prime position in the hierarchy that British tourists hold abroad, rather than referring to them as “immigrants.”  There are no sources provided for the details of the article although the word “nuclear” is put in quotation marks it is unclear where this came from.

 

The Guardian_97712778_guardian

Topic of article: Law

Headline:  Exposed: ‘race bias’ in British justice system

Author(s): Vikram Dodd (Crime Correspondent), Owen Bowcott (Legal Affairs Correspondent)

Analysis: This article covers the publication of a report on racism within the justice system produced by MP David Lammy and commissioned by Cameron in 2016. This story only appears on one other front page, The Daily Telegraph (in a small box at the bottom), despite its deep importance. The article supports the findings of the report and uses the article to highlight Lammy’s key points including that the disproportionality of black and ethnic minority groups in U.K. prisons is higher than in the U.S., which may shock some readers. That young people are particularly affected is also described in the article which may evoke further outrage at the unjust loss of potential for these young people. Moreover, the article also focuses on the evidence benefits of rehabilitation programmes rather than incarceration, emphasising the belief in the benefits of rehabilitation rather than punishment. An example of trying to make the reports’ argument appeal further is including that the numbers of people going to prison who needn’t be, costs the taxpayer “more than £300m a year.” The majority of the article consists of quoting from the report and Lammy, with no other individual quotes. Others who could have been included are those with personal or professional experience of the justice system.

Daily Mail_97712781_mail

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: Don’t treat us with contempt!

Author(s): Jason Groves (Political Editor); Mario Ledwith (Brussels Correspondent)

Analysis: The article criticises the negative comments made about David Davis, the Brexit secretary by bother European President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier. The article very clearly argues that the fact that these individuals are being so “arrogant” and rude towards Davis adds another damning reason to the list of why we should leave the E.U. The article describes the E.U. team as petty and deliberately trying to “destabilise the UK team” with the “personal insults” and that Barnier wanted to “teach Britain a lesson” if it didn’t do as he intended regarding the negotiations. There is no detail about the content of the negotiations themselves or whether some of the comments may be valid. The only direct quote in the article is from prominent Eurosceptic MP Peter Bone whose quote embodies the argument that this rudeness “is why we have got to leave.”

 

The Times_97712777_times

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: Minister in firing line of MP’s Brexit letter

Author(s): Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor), Henry Zeffman (Political Reporter)

Analysis: In the ever murkier and more complicated Brexit debate, it has been found that a letter supporting hard Brexit has been supported and circulated by MP Suella Fernandes (aide to the Chancellor) and MP Steve Baker on a What’s App group. The article portrays a thoroughly factionalised Conservative party regarding Brexit: the hard-Brexit supporting signatories of this letter and European Research Group; Hammond’s “standstill” transition deal; and David Davis’ negotiating being criticised on top of it all. In the article the whole ‘what form of Brexit’ debate appears chaotic and deeply confusing to anyone from the outside.  However, the judgment of the paper is present with the final paragraph using an unnamed “government source” to describe that both MP’s were wrong to do this and would normally lose their jobs, particularly Fernandes due to her position. The article gives quite a lot of time describing the details of the What’s App-ing and therefore quotes from the What’s App group itself; in addition quotes are provided from multiple unnamed sources within government from both those supporting the letter and those not and finally Baker does defend himself by providing a cover story to his What’s App issues. The use of unnamed sources adds to the sense in the article that there is extensive in-fighting and lack of coherence within government. There is little context from outside the party or quotes from others except saying how Labour feels about the customs union.

 

Front page images from: BBC The Papers (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers) , The Guardian may be better read at the Guardian website or Pressreader (http://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-guardian) or Kiokso ( http://en.kiosko.net/uk/)

Reviewed by: Alice Edwards

 

Thursday 7th September 2017

Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times

The Sunsun 07.09

Topic of article: Entertainment/popular culture

Headline: Wazza off the razza

Author(s): Simon Boyle (Showbiz editor); Richard Moriarty

Analysis: This article centres on the well-known football player Wayne Rooney, who is described as “troubled” following recent drink-driving charges and marital issues. The article is an exclusive report on the “ultimatum” that Wayne has given his wife, Coleen – that he will give up drinking if she goes on fewer holidays. An image of Wayne drinking a beer is juxtaposed with a large image of Coleen, wearing a bikini, which is intended to demonstrate the differences between their current lifestyles. The issues are phrased dramatically, with Wayne’s commitment to stop drinking framed as “a bid to save their marriage”. While a source is cited who corroborates the story to some degree, confirming that both Wayne and Coleen have issues with aspects of the other’s lifestyle, the extent of the problems are not supported, and the identity of the source is unknown. The description of the article as an “exclusive” gives it a level of intrigue, which can be seen as a tool to promote sales.

 

The Guardianguardian 07.09

Topic of article:  Politics

Headline: New leak of Brexit papers reveals fissures between Britain and EU

Author(s): Jennifer Rankin (European Correspondent)

Analysis: Further details of Brexit position papers are given, following leaks to the press, focusing on potential points of contention including the Irish border. Five position papers are expected to be published over the coming days, including one on the border between Ireland and the UK. According to the leaked documents, the responsibility for managing this border will be the sole responsibility of the UK. Key points of the leaked documents are detailed, all of which (the article suggests) indicate that the EU is taking an approach which focuses purely on the UK’s exit from the EU, an approach which is described as “spurning” lead negotiator David Davis’s idealised approach of flexibility and creativity. The phrasing of the first sentence gives the impression that the EU is somewhat at fault, and perhaps even taking an aggressive stance in the Brexit negotiations, for instance through describing their position papers as “combative”. The article takes a pessimistic view of Brexit, focusing on the complexity of the issues raised and the potential negative outcomes. The emphasis on the “technical minefields not covered during the referendum campaign” seems to be used to undermine the legitimacy of the referendum, by suggesting that (leave) voters may have been unaware of what their choice entailed. The Irish border issue is claimed to be the “biggest conundrum” of Brexit, and the article mentions the impact that Brexit may have on Ireland. For instance, Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign minister, is quoted as describing the impact of Brexit on Ireland as “extraordinarily negative”. Further, it is suggested that the proposed solutions to these issues are inadequate, being “denounced” as “completely confused” and “economically illiterate”, although the article does not identify the source of these quotations.

 

The Daily Maildaily_mail 07.09

Topic of article: Health

Headline: Doctors: we won’t take on any more patients

Author(s): Sophie Borland (Health Correspondent)

Analysis: Following a BMA survey, this article reports that more than 50% of GPs want to close their lists to new patients. As a result of the survey, the BMA is to decide whether to tell GP surgeries to temporarily close their lists, in a “show of protest” against government demands for increased services, such as additional evening and weekend work, without increased funding. The article describes this as a “drastic measure”, noting the significance for those who are moving home or do not yet have a GP. Whilst closing GP lists to new patients would potentially have a significant impact, both on individuals and on other medical services (which presumably would see a greater demand if patients are unable to see a GP), the headline seems a little premature, as support for not taking on additional patients is only supported by a fairly minimal majority of those surveyed, and the BMA have not yet decided whether GPs should go ahead with refusing additional patients. Further, if this does happen, it should only be on a temporary basis as a form of protest rather than a long-term decision. No BMA representatives, government representatives or medical professionals are cited within the front page, all of whom could have provided insight on this issue.

 

The Timestimes 07.09

Topic of article: Domestic affairs

Headline: Crackdown on university pay

Author(s): Rosemary Bennett (Social Affairs Correspondent), Nicola Woolcock (Education Correspondent)

Analysis: This article reports that universities are to be fined if they pay their vice-chancellors more than £150,000 p/a (“Theresa May’s salary”) without justification, which will be enforced by a new watchdog. The decision is to be announced at an upcoming Universities UK conference by Jo Johnson, the universities minister. The article suggests a “growing outcry” over the high wages of vice-chancellors, particularly amongst former and current ministers, coupled with public scrutiny over university spending following the continuing increases to student fees has led to this decision, although an alternative narrative is raised through quotations from a vice-chancellor, who suggests the decision is politically motivated. The article is fairly balanced, featuring quotes from Johnson’s speech, relevant statistics relating to current wages of vice-chancellors, and the voices of vice-chancellors who are defending their salaries, for instance by comparing their wages against those of footballers, as well as international institutions. The vice- chancellor of Oxford University was cited as accusing politicians of making an inappropriate link between vice-chancellor salaries and increasing fees, perhaps as a means of appearing to address the issue. She suggested instead that significant increases in running costs were the cause of increased fees. Her salary of £150,000 was noted, in comparison to the salary of the position-holder 15 years earlier, which was £100,000. The current running costs of Oxford University were given at £1.4bn which she claimed was “far higher” than it had been 15 years previously, although the real numbers and the percentage increases were missing from the report.

 

Front page images from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers and http://en.kiosko.net/uk/

Reviewed by: Evelyn Jager

 

Friday 18th August 2017

Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, Daily Mail, The Times

The Sunthe sun

Topic of article: Crime

Headline: Barcalona Bastards

Author(s): Jonathan Reilly (Senior Reporter)

Analysis: The Sun chooses the image of the individual lying on the pavement with two police officers standing over them to dominate their front page. The article is highly emotive and focusses on creating anger towards the individual “maniac driver” who “mows down tourists” including the details that “one terrorist killed, two held.” In its short description, he paper includes that the La Ramblas area of Barcalona is “popular with British visitors” heightening the sense of fear in that British people and families are not safe when they are on their summer holidays. The sources for the information are not provided and there are no quotes included within the article, though we are left to assume the figures for those injured and information regarding the arrests are from the Spanish emergency services and police. There is no description of Islamic State claiming responsibility for the attack on this front page. The coverage of the attack is present on pages 4-7 inside the paper.

 

The Guardianthe guardian

Topic of article:  Crime

Headline: Terror strikes Barcalona

Author(s): Giles Tremlett (Madrid), Sam Jones, Jennifer Rankin (Brussels)

Analysis: The Guardian describes the Las Ramblas attack in detail and provides a contextual perspective, describing the similarities with attacks in France, Germany, Sweden and the UK. The article provides a detailed description of the scene in Barcalona, emphasising that this was intended to injure tourists due to this being the height of holiday season and it being one of the most popular roads in Barcalona. Furthermore it also provides tragic elements such as “several pushchairs could be seen abandoned at the side of the street.” The article includes quotes from a number of eye witnesses including an off-duty nurse and communicates a scene of panic and confusion with “rumours flew around the city” describing how people were unsure of what to do. The image chosen for the article is of two police officers standing over an individual who is lying on the pavement with their hands over their eyes. There is less description of Islamic State within the article apart from that they claimed responsibility for the attack. They do provide some background regarding Oukabir, who has now been arrested, including his photograph and describing that he is believed to be from North Africa but is a resident in Spain. The coverage of the attack is present on pages 3 to 5.

Daily Maildaily mail

Topic of article: Crime

Headline: Massacre of holiday families

Author(s): Vanessa Allen (News Reporter)

Analysis: The article focusses on describing the chaotic scene at Las Ramblas yesterday afternoon. The horror of those there having to flee for their lives and “broken bodies lay in pools of blood” with “prams and toys” also on the floor is described in full, instilling fear in the reader. There is little detailed description of the facts such as that Isis have claimed responsibility for the attack, suggesting that this front page was sent to print earlier than the other papers and hence why it focuses on setting the terrible scene rather than more detail. There is also a clear impression that “British holiday-makers” may be amongst those injured in the attack as it is a popular destination and therefore implies that people aren’t even safe on their family holiday. Where the information is from in the article is not detailed and no quotes are provided. The image chosen is the same as that in The Sun and The Guardian and includes an inset of the arrested individual Driss Outkabir. The coverage continues inside the paper on page 4.

 

The Timesthe times

Topic of article: Crime

Headline: Evil strikes again

Author(s): Adam Sage, Charles Bremner, Sarah Morris, Fiona Hamilton (Barcalona)

Analysis: The Times describes what is known about the attack in Barcalona, including details about the arrest of Driss Oukabir. The article provides a detailed description of the event including the current death toll and number injured. The story appears to be evolving as many questions remain unresolved including whether the suspect who was shot dead by police trying to drive out of the city was the driver of the van involved. The Times discusses that this attack was the first by Islamic State in Spain, and that previous attacks in Barcalona had been related to Basque separatist groups. The article includes quotes from Amaq (the Islamic State news agency), the Spanish police, a tourist who was present at the scene and tweets from King Felipe of Spain and Trump and part of the official statement from Theresa May (full available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/barcelona-attack-pm-statement.) The image chosen is of a family group surrounding an individual on the floor with some security staff also around them.  Their descriptions relating to Islamic State are the word “evil” in the headline, the quote from Amaq explaining that the attack targeted Spain as it was a “coalition state” with the U.S. fighting against them. The coverage of the attack is present on pages 2-5 and page 31.

 

Front page images from: BBC The Papers (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers)

Reviewed by: Alice Edwards

Monday 31st July 2017

Monday 31st July 2017

Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times

The Sun_97132514_sun

Topic of article: The Royal Family

Headline: Grubby blood money

Author(s): Jack Royston (Royal Correspondent)

Analysis: The Sun express outrage at the use of film to be used in the Channel four show ‘Diana: In Her Own Words’ around the the 20th anniversary of her death. The quote comes from “ex-royal aide Dickie Arbiter” who is clearly unsupportive of the tapes being shown as they are described as “tawdry” and including Diana discussing her marriage to Prince Charles. The use of the word “pals” and citing this ex-royal aide suggests that those who had known Diana best are against the television programme including this and there is nothing on this front page to argue to support Channel Four “TV bosses” including it. It is unclear what sort of outcome will occur from this, though articles like this just increase promotion of the show if it is to be aired later this year. Moreover, Diana is a difficult character for the press as they both promoted her as the ‘people’s princess’ and also make arguably less supportive choices regarding her at different points (see Daily Mail below.) Moreover, the question of if this is morally wrong, to publicly show unseen tapes of someone after they have passed away if it will change their public image (or of others), is probably a wider issue may to come to a head here considering the public and press being so involved in Diana and her life.

The Guardianguardian.750

Topic of article:  Politics

Headline: Tensions flair in cabinet over free movement

Author(s): Anushka Asthana (Political Editor)

Analysis: The Guardian describes the clash within the Conservative party with the prime minister and some supporters being undermined by those MPs who are in dissent who tend to support softer Brexit in regard to the ‘transitional deal’ including immigration and trade issues. The article describes the rebelling side as Phillip Hammond, Amber Rudd and notable others who appear to be stepping out of party line of hard Brexit regarding tough campaign issues such as immigration. In addition, those attempting to reinforce that line are described as May, David Davis, Liam Fox and Iain Duncan Smith.  The article describes how public statements on Brexit are being made by those Rudd and Hammond that have not been agreed with by other members of the party, as highlighted by a quote from Fox. These actions from Hammond and co. are particularly pertinent at a time whilst parliament is in recess, with many MPs who support Brexit away abroad (May, Johnson and Fox) and appears a somewhat manipulative move by Hammond. The article enhances a sense of deep division within the party including secret letters sent by Rudd, quotes from both sides describing uncertainty and the poignant reminder that the issue of the “transitional deal” has been “forced up the agenda” due to May’s performance in the general election. Overall, the article makes the party seem even more fragile and the Brexit negotiations fraught with tensions that are worsening rather than lessening.

Daily Maildaily_mail.750

Topic of article: Crime

Headline: Car rental firms don’t do repairs you pay for

Author(s): Louise Eccles (Personal Finance Correspondent)

Analysis: The newspaper reports the results of its own investigation into car rental companies charges for British customers. The newspaper is focussing on the frustrations of car rental customers who are charged for minor damages they may have caused to the car whilst they are renting it. The paper reports that the companies aren’t using the charges to fix the specific damage charged for but just fix the car when they sell it on or lower the selling price. The paper commonly pioneers a campaign like this, trying to seek and expose an unfair truth for the general public. However, as it has now passed this information onto the trading standards officers there is likely nothing that the paper or customers can actually do, except perhaps the action of boycotting the names rental companies on this basis which may be why they listed them, that is productive from this suspicion-mongering article. There is also the interest in the tone that this injustice is being done to “British tourists” as if rental cars aren’t used by people from all countries or that these companies don’t have British bases or charge tourists who are travelling in the U.K. in this way.

 

The Times_97132510_times

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: Hammond: we won’t be tax haven after Brexit  

Author(s): Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor); Adam Sage (Paris Correspondent)

Analysis: The article reports that Philip Hammond, chancellor, has made statements about Britain not changing it’s tax policy to become a ‘tax haven’ after Brexit. The article is set on the background of Hammond becoming more and more dominant and pioneering the ‘softer’ Brexit in contrast with what Prime Minister May, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have as their message. Moreover, the paper describes how Hammond himself in January said that lowering taxes to attract businesses was an option (and a negotiating card) if Britain lost access to the single market, which could still happen. Hammond appears to be trying to be more conciliatory towards European countries, by now saying this in a French newspaper interview, in contrast to his previous more aggressive comments to a German paper in January. The article also describes the issue between Vince Cable suggesting that Johnson could resign after the split in the party over Brexit, with Johnson emphasising this was not going to happen. The article tends to be more balanced than the Guardian, with them citing how May and Hammond and Johnson and Hammond work together and therefore seeming not completely divided.

 

Front page images from: BBC The Papers (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers) , The Guardian may be better read at the Guardian website or Pressreader (http://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-guardian) or Kiokso ( http://en.kiosko.net/uk/)

Reviewed by: Alice Edwards

 

Wednesday 14th June, 2017

Papers Reviewed: The Metro, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times

The MetroMetro

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!

The GuardianGuardian

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 MailMail

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.

The TimesTimes

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

 

VIEWPOINTS 4: Our thoughts on the 2017 UK general election.

Its been a long election. At BTH we aim to analyse, discuss and explore the aim, agenda, and bias of international, national and local newspapers to as many members of the public as possible. Still, each of our writers bring their own opinions and biases in the work that we do, in our analysis, and how we interpret the news. This invariably affects the work we produce, and so in the name of full transparency, today we give you a glimpse of our opinions and worldviews.

Last, but not least, we bring you the thoughts of Bruno Gnaneswaran, a co-founder of Between the Headlines.

I have been unable to vote in the last three general elections despite desperately wanting to and having the urge to. I want to be involved in the democratic process that will have huge consequences on my life and the life of others. Our current society is crying for change. In order to have real change, in order to have a truly representative parliament and government, we need to have a serious discussion on our out-dated first-past-the-post voting system. The current voting system is not fair, undemocratic and ensures that not all votes count equally. During the last general election, 74% of our votes were wasted and did not make a difference to the outcome. Every vote should count equally.
The media has a significant influence on this democratic process and here at BTH we believe that although the media is incredibly important, it needs to be held accountable when it is not delivering reliable, accurate and truly representative journalism. My personal ideologies and policies are not in line with the Conservatives and I am very pleased to see the right-wing media, despite its strong efforts, has not stopped Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour manifesto to show what policies are needed to help fight social injustice. Britain is the fifth largest economy in the world and instead of helping those who are already wealthy, lets have a government and society that helps those who are vulnerable and provides equal opportunities for all. Lets have a better education system for our children, a functioning health and social care system and adequate policing to keep us safe.
This was a nasty, individualistic and chaotic campaign run by Theresa May and we need to remind those that represent us that this is not what we ask of our politicians. Today, the people have made their voices heard – this is not what we want from our leaders. We do not care about personalities, we care about policies. We want politicians that want to help fight the serious inequalities that exists here in the U.K. and throughout the world. Today has shown us there is a momentum and a wish for a more equal, just and compassionate society.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this special edition. Next week we return to our analysis newspaper headlines.
We always welcome new writers, so drop us an e-mail if you are interested in joining our team.

VIEWPOINTS 3: Our thoughts on the 2017 UK general election

Its been a long election. At BTH we aim to analyse, discuss and explore the aim, agenda, and bias of international, national and local newspapers to as many members of the public as possible. Still, each of our writers bring their own opinions and biases in the work that we do, in our analysis, and how we interpret the news. This invariably affects the work we produce, and so in the name of full transparency, today we give you a glimpse of our opinions and worldviews.

Below we bring you the thoughts of Alice Edwards, one of the co-founders of Between the Headlines.

I have voted both Labour and Green over the years, am a supporter of the concept of a Progressive Alliance on the left. Considering the impact of the media on this general election, there’s one point that cannot go ignored: print press is not where it’s at. Despite acknowledging the media bias against Corbyn with the infamous ‘Don’t chuck Britain in the Cor Bin’ and the London Evening Standard (current editor: George Osbourne) ever-detached from real Londoners and their politics, coming out in blunt support of the Conservatives saying they were “best for our capital.” However, despite this coverage, Corbyn still did unexpectedly well. I feel that the significant growth in youth vote and Corbyn’s success indicates that it’s the freedom provided of online politics – whether it be through memes and Corbyn’s dabbing or it’s use in organising and mobilising a big part of the electorate – was what got people interested.

VIEWPOINTS 2: Our thoughts on the 2017 UK general election

Its been a long election. At BTH we aim to analyse, discuss and explore the aim, agenda, and bias of international, national and local newspapers to as many members of the public as possible. Still, each of our writers bring their own opinions and biases in the work that we do, in our analysis, and how we interpret the news. This invariably affects the work we produce, and so in the name of full transparency, today we give you a glimpse of our opinions and worldviews.

Next up in our exclusive Between the Headlines series is Samuel Hewitt.

I voted Labour yesterday because I believe they offered the hope of a government that put people and compassion first, above private interest and capital. While I was initially sceptical of Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to rise above a media that is inherently rightwing and appeal to a wide range of UK voters, I have always agreed with his policies. And I am pleasantly surprised that his and Labour’s tactics have seemed to worked magnificently, using social media and grassroots campaigns to harness the hope and power of the youth vote, along with those who are disenfranchised with the current political structure.

Labour may not have gained enough seats to form a government but this election was about so much more, and it showed that there really is an appetite for social justice in the UK. The Conservatives tried to run on a platform of individual interest, of fear and concern over ‘the other side’ and although they now form a government they do so in a much weakened position.

As a medical student who will likely move directly into a position of near total job security, adequate pay, and ample opportunities in the private sector, it is not me who will stand to lose the most with a Conservative government. I think its important for people in a similar position to consider what type of society we want to live in moving forward – do we want one where public services and social care are cut because of the long discredited phantom of ‘austerity’, leading to over 30,000 deaths a year because the Tories prefer to give tax cuts to the banks and wealthy businesses? One where, for all their talk of economic proficiency and the failings of the opposition, the national debt has tripled in 7 years and the Tories are now on the brink of forming a coalition government with a party that is anti-abortion and gay rights, are climate sceptics and have direct links with terrorist groups? Or do we want one where people have access to universal health care, access to essential services like carers and a winter fuel allowance? Where we understand that the economy isn’t like our bank account and by cutting spending drastically we actually starve the economy and weaken it? One where we take care of the many, and not just the few? I know which one I prefer.