Friday 26th February 2016

Newspapers reviewed: The Sun,  The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times

The SunScreen Shot 2016-02-26 at 20.54.05

Topic of article: Immigration

Author: Steve Hawkes (Deputy Political Editor)

Title: The Great Migrant Con

Aim of article: The aim of the article is to inform its readers that the government have covered up the real number of EU nationals arriving to Britain. Government statistics show 257,000 EU nationals entered Great Britain, whereas 630,000 EU nationals registered to work.

Agenda of article: One of the major issues in the EU in or out debate is immigration. It was a priority for David Cameron when he was trying to negotiate a better deal for Britain and it is also on the mind of the British people. If the government has indeed ‘covered-up’ the official figures of how many EU nationals entered Britain then this will play in favour of the Brexit camp. Consequently, the article will be influential in the voting decision during the EU referendum and it may also give light to which side The Sun is choosing.

Bias of the article: The tone of the article is fairly speculative as it uses words such as “may” and “claimed”. The source of the “cover-up” is not revealed and it is not known if the author tried to obtain comment from government officials about this claim. It is therefore difficult to know the reliability of the article. Furthermore, the chosen picture on the front page is depicting many women wearing headscarves and was chosen to represent the higher number of EU nationals who registered to work in Britain last year. I believe this is further perpetuating islamaphobia by mainstream media and is not truly representative of the EU nationals that have registered to work.

The GuardianScreen Shot 2016-02-26 at 22.13.32

Topic of article: Media

Author: Jane Martinson (Head of Media) and Jamie Grierson (Breaking News Reporter)

Title: BBC and Blackburn go to war over findings of Savile sex abuse report

Aim of article: The article tells its readers about the current dispute between the BBC and Tony Blackburn, the first ever Radio 1 DJ. The independent inquiry into Jimmy Savile and other “untouchable” celebrities revealed that Blackburn failed to “co-operate with one element of Dame Janet Smith’s report into sexual abuse by Savile and others at the BBC”. Blackburn feels as though he has “been hung out to dry” and scapegoated.

Agenda of article: It seems as if the article is trying to tell its readers the culture of celebrities being untouchable still exists despite the  decision by the BBC to part companies with the former radio 1 presenter. The article mentions that Blackburn has denied evidence that he was “seducing” a 15-year-old girl after a recording of Top of the Pops. Moreover, a quote from Mr Hall mentions that Blackburn “fell short of the standards of evidence that such an enquiry demanded”

Bias of the article: The Guardian has represented the view of the BBC director general, Tony Hall, and Tony Blackburn, the two individuals directly involved in the dispute over the findings of the independent inquiry. Using the word “war” in the title indicates that this is a very serious matter, partly due to the fact that Blackburn is threatening legal action.

Daily MailScreen Shot 2016-02-26 at 22.19.24

Topic of article: Immigration

Author: Steve Doughty (Social Affairs Correspondent)

Title: Pull the other one, Dave

Aim of article: The article is telling its readers how David Cameron yesterday said he would cut down net immigration to 100,000 despite “close to record high levels”.

Agenda of article: The Daily Mail is commenting on David Cameron’s statement yesterday and is  trying to tell its readers that what he is saying is far from the truth. According to the Daily Mail this is “Another set of devastating migration figures” and it also mentions the high number of National Insurance numbers issued to non-British EU citizens in 2015 is different to the data by the Office for National Statistics, ONS, (similar to the information that The Sun has put on its front page). This article continues the anti EU and anti immigration rhetoric The Daily Mail has achieved in the past month. It also continues to undermine David Cameron with the idiom in its title “Pull the other one, Dave” by implying to its readers that Cameron is lying.

Bias of the article:  The article mentions a couple of statements from David Cameron and contradicts the statement by using statistics from the ONS. The aforementioned title also further contradicts the quotes from the Prime minister. Nevertheless, the Daily Mail fails to mention if David Cameron’s statements have been backed by measures on how net migration can be reduced.

The TimesScreen Shot 2016-02-27 at 00.04.14

Topic of article: Crime

Author: Andrew Norfolk (Chief Investigative Reporter)

Title: Rotherham child abuse gang leader wanted IVF

Aim of article: The aim of the article is to inform its readers the leader of the Rotherham child abuse gang seeks to start a new family by inquiring into the feasibility of fertility treatment from a consultant psychiatrist who was assessing whether he was fit to stand trial. A psychiatrist was assessing Arshid Hussain because he claimed that “standing trial would have a detrimental impact upon his mental health”.

Agenda of article: The article is trying to demonstrate that because the leader of gang was seeking information about the feasibility of fertility treatment during his psychiatric assessment, he was fit enough to stand trial as he was fit enough to start a new family.

Bias of the article:  The Times uses quotes from the psychiatrist, “sources close to the case” and Judge Sarah Wright. Sources close to Hussain have not been mentioned which makes it difficult to understand why he would like to start a new family. There seems to be negativity surrounding IVF as the article mentions “Whether he was seeking such expensive medical assistance on the NHS was not disclosed”. The emphasis on Hussain wanting to start a new family despite him have fathered several child is also challenging to comprehend. Perhaps the newspaper is trying to form a link between the ethnicity of the perpetrator and big families and wanting lots of children. This can further enhances the stereotype that people of certain ethnicity have large families.

Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/

Reviewed by: Bruno Gnaneswaran

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