Tuesday 8th March 2016

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

The Sunsun.750

Topic of article: Royal Family

Headline: Busy? I’m snowed under

Authors: Emily Andrews (Royal Correspondent)

Aim of the article:

The article is informing the readers that Prince William, Kate Middleton and their two children have been photographed on a skiing holiday whilst Prince William has been criticised for being “workshy” and “shirking his job and royal duties.”

 Agenda of the article: The article’s main line is that the “accusations” regarding the heir to the throne not working hard are true. The writers mock the Prince using alliteration “Workshy Wills”, puns including “sloping off” and the image of him being hit by a snowball suggesting that he is prioritising having a “lark” with his family rather than his “royal duties.” In addition the article appears to show him as a character unresponsive to public criticism with the wording “the trip, coming after Wills was accused of shirking his job…” Therefore overall the message appears to be undermining the image of Prince William as a man who would work hard for the country’s respect and is generally out of touch with the general public by using the emphasis on their “luxury” skiing holiday and the rhetorical question, relating to something those with ‘regular’ jobs would say, as the headline.

 Bias of the article:The article is using “official snaps” and uses that idea to validate what they have written about the Royals skiing “jaunt.” The article doesn’t detail who supplied the previous criticism of Prince William being “workshy” or why they called him this.  The writers don’t discuss what his responsibilities are and how he is not totally fulfilling them. They also don’t report if there was any official response to those criticisms from Clarence House, as these photos are unlikely to be his “response.” Wider arguments regarding the funding of the royal family, their expenditure and the income the nation does or doesn’t gain from their existence are not raised.

The Guardianguardian.750

Topic of article: Finance; International

Headline: Millennials – Revealed: The full scale of the economic crisis facing young adults around the world

Authors: Caelainn Barr (Data Projects Journalist), Shiv Malik (Investigative Journalist)

Aim of the article:The article is reporting on the recent Guardian project over seven major economies in North America and Europe which was considering the “inequality between generations” which is focused on the issue that, despite western societies increasing in wealth over the past 30 years, this improvement in income and living standards has not been the case for those known as “Generation Y” who were born between 1980 and the mid-1990s.

 Agenda of the article:The article presents an “unprecedented” harsh world for young adults in some of today’s Western economies, in stark contrast to the status of the rest of the population of their countries whom have “experienced handsome gains”. The article portrays them as finding it more difficult to make a steady living with reduced job prospects, lower wages which are “lagging behind national averages” and disposable income when in work, challenges finding housing and becoming stable enough to confidently chose to begin families. The statistics around the front page illustrate the consequences of this which includes leading to more of “Gen Y” living with their parents rather than owning their own home and having children much later, somehow as if the age group have been frozen in time and unable to become independent and self-sufficient due to their financial status. The tone of the article and the presentation on the front page indicates that the generation are lively and full of potential, which contrasts to this reporting of them not being able to fulfill this.

Bias of the article:The article is publishing of the data that they have collected and analysed as part of this project to highlight the situation for 20-30 year-olds however do not use many other sources of information or points of view. However they do include the line: “experts warn that the phenomenon will have grave implications on everything from social cohesion to family formation” though this doesn’t give detail of who these experts are and the link between financial status and these outcomes. Furthermore there isn’t much focus on the causes for the current situation of inequality between generations though perhaps some hinting at it in the small test reading: “48.5% of generation Y voted, the lowest turnout of any age group” indicating that poor electoral turn out of a group could contribute to their needs not being met. In a wider view the article is clear in that it is discussing ‘developed’ and ‘Western’ countries, such as the UK, rather than considering the situation on a global scale and how the relative lack of financial stability is minimal compared to the lives of billions “around the world.”

 The Daily Maildaily_mail.750

Topic of article: Europe; EU Referendum

Headline: Proof No.10 did put knife in

Author(s): Jason Groves (Deputy Political Editor) and Chris Brooke (News Reporter)

Aim of the articleThe article is reporting that a Downing Street senior staff member rang the Director of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) John Longworth to criticise him for publicly presenting a business argument for leaving the European Union shortly before he was sacked. This is relevant as the Prime Minister had previously denied having any influence over the BCC’s decision.

Agenda of the article:The article works towards the consistent pro-Brexit campaign of the paper. The article is using the information to make project the view that the “sensational” suspension of John Longworth was wrong by using pro-Brexit MP Chris Grayling’s description of the suspension as “disgraceful and spineless” and of Longworth himself as a “prominent business leader” whose views – considering the EU referendum – should be respected. In addition the article works to show the pro-EU campaign of the Prime Minister as secretive, deceptive and having “weasel words” as they are portrayed as liars regarding their input into the chief’s suspension. Furthermore there is some allusion to the elite maintaining the elite with the opening paragraph specifically, irrelevantly, referring to the wage of the “senior aide” Daniel Korski who made the phone call to Longworth.

Bias of the article:The “revelation” the article is based on is reports from the “friends” of John Longworth of the phone-call from Korski and there was no comment from “The Prime Minister’s official spokesman” further underlining this idea of secretiveness from “No.10.” The prominent use of Grayling as a source is a recurrent theme for the paper as he holds a political position and is vocal about his opposition to the Prime Minister’s campaign to stay in the European Union. However the article doesn’t include any solid evidence regarding the phone call or give any arguments in favour of the BCC remaining neutral and why Longworth’s “unacceptable” suspension may have been carried out other than him being ousted by Cameron’s Project Fear. Furthermore there is little discussion of the general issues surrounding the referendum.

 The Timesthe_times.750

Topic of article: Energy; Taxes; Nuclear Power

Headline: Scrap ‘worst ever’ nuclear deal and save £17 billion

Authors: Robin Pagnamenta (Energy Editor), Ben Webster (Environment Editor)

Aim of the article:The article is presenting part of the argument against the project to build of two nuclear reactors by French company EDF at Hinkley Point on the grounds that taxpayers money would be better spent on a “tried and tested alternative” to the nuclear reactor project set to produce 6% of Britain’s electricity needs by 2025.

Agenda of the article: The article presents this decision by the French and British governments to go ahead with building the reactors as a poor one on multiple fronts. Firstly that this is not seen as economical for the taxpayer as the British government will have to continue to pay EDF French government a fixed rate per megawatt hour for 35 years, regardless of falls in the price of electricity. Secondly the article undermines the plan by indicating that EDF itself are at risk of “financial ruin” if the deal goes ahead with their chief financial officer, Thomas Pisquenal, leaving the company on Monday on these grounds. And finally there is a degree to which the writers show this as a deal that is majorly aimed at benefiting the French government – and their relationship with David Cameron – who have a “84.5% stake” in EDF, which is composed next to the questioning of the “price of the deal for British consumers.” This is interesting considering the current Brexit row which is regularly reported by the paper and the meeting of Hollande and Cameron last week with the article saying that the French-British deal over the Hinkley Point was a “key pillar of the relationship between the two countries” potentially suggesting that our Prime Minister isn’t prioritising taxpayers interests over his pro-EU agenda.     

Bias of the article:The article is focusing on the economic argument to the taxpayer throughout the article and doesn’t include any other significant arguments. It does this through using large statistics such as saving “£500 million a year” or “£175 billion over 35 years” by using alternatives rather than the nuclear power plant. The sources for the quoted used are “energy analysts” and “consultants” from US investment banks and Mainline energy respectively, with no reference to their standing except from their job description, and this is where the “worst deal I’ve ever seen” comes from. There is no comparison of options of electricity production, including costs and no discussion of the moral and environmental arguments surrounding nuclear power.  Furthermore there is also widespread discussion that is not included surrounding the specific EPR technology that is planned for the reactor, the fact that would be one of the first of its kind and what the implications are of that.

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

Reviewed by: Alice Edwards



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