Papers Reviewed: The Daily Mirror (The Sun unavailable today), The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
The Daily Mirror
Topic of article: Crime
Headline: Kids of 10 in gun crime epidemic
Authors: Tom Pettifor (Chief Crime Correspondent)
Aim of the article: The article is informing readers of “shock figures” that significant numbers of “kids” are being held for suspected firearms offences over the past three years.
Agenda of the article: The article appears to be aiming to scare readers, suggesting that “gang fears” and the general idea that the youth of today are dangerous and old beyond their years are justified by these recent statistics. The article uses inflammatory language to illustrate this; such as “epidemic” and “thousands of children” when the true number is 1,500 young people (the exact definition of “kids” not being specified in the article) in the past three years. The article works to amplify the negative connotations of young “kids” and “children” in today’s society, particularly by using the image of the hooded person aiming a gun at the front page.
Bias of the article: The article gives very little detail on where the statistics have come from or what the age range they are referring to is, including how many of those who were held “for suspected firearms offences” were actually 10 years old or what that specific phrase itself means. The article is overwhelmingly negative about young people and uses a quote from someone whose brother was “shot dead” as evidence for how dangerous the “gun crime epidemic” can be, though doesn’t give any relevance to this individuals tragedy on the story itself.
Topic of article: International Affairs
Headline: Suspects held as army drafted in to lead Pakistan terror hunt
Authors: Jon Boone (Pakistan Correspondent), Taha Siddiqui (Pakistan Correspondent)
Aim of the article: The article informs readers about a suicide attack by a faction of the Pakistani Taliban in a public park in Lahore, Punjab province, Pakistan which killed 72 people on Easter Sunday.
Agenda of the article: The article sets a powerful image of grief and pain by using both the large distressing image of the mourning mother and the numbers of dead and wounded including contrasting the Easter holiday scene in the park with “several fairground attractions” with the tragic deaths of children. The writers are also emphasising how the response to this attack indicates a change in the approach of the Pakistani government with them now choosing to use “Rangers, a paramilitary wing of the army” to run a “military-led campaign against militant groups” which was previously “resisted” by the government. The severity of the attack is also shown in that the prime- minister cancelled trips to the UK and US in order to respond to the attacks. Overall the article appears to show the Pakistani government joining forces with their military to step-up their fight against the “extremist” factions of the Pakistani Taliban after this attack aimed at the Christian minority population.
Bias of the article: There is a direct quote from a spokesman from the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar Taliban faction which evidences their responsibility and aims of the attack. There is little information on this front page on the wider picture of the Taliban, perspectives from other religious groups or religion in Pakistan to provide context. The article quotes a spokesman from the Pakistani military who uses language such as “savage inhumans” to describe those who conducted the attack and from Nawaz Sharif (Pakistan’s prime minister) outlining their “basic responsibility” to protect “all citizens” however there is no quote from any Pakistani citizens themselves though this may be the case elsewhere in the article (i.e. within the paper.)
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: Deadly cost of our open borders
Author(s): Jack Doyle (Columnist), Ian Drury (Home Affairs Correspondent)
Aim of the article: The article is reporting a “dossier” produced by the “Brexit Vote Leave campaign” which lists 50 of the “‘most dangerous’” European criminals who have entered the UK and details some of the crimes they have committed.
Agenda of the article: The article is using this list produced by the “Brexit campaign” to support their argument that remaining in Europe with its “free movement rules” allowing “every EU citizen the right to enter any country” makes the UK “less safe and less secure.” Therefore the article is adding another argument for Britain to leave Europe which is so that these “most dangerous” people who commit “killings” and “rapes” do not enter the UK. The article paints the image of Britain outside the EU as better and safer as it would be able to limit free movement and enable us to use “criminal record checks” for anyone entering the country. Effectively the article is suggesting that having a “free movement” policy allows for all the “horrific” criminal Europeans to enter Britain that would otherwise be a much “safer” and “secure” place, somewhat linking migrants to wider issues of security and potentially even terrorism which the same paper has been known to suggest in the past.
Bias of the article: Quite simply, the article blatantly reports and supports the Brexit campaign. It only gives information provided in the report produced by the Vote Leave campaign and quotes “Brexit supporters” and “Eurosceptics” points of view. There is no inclusion of any critical analysis of these statistics or of the pro-EU perspective or arguments. For example there is no detail on the percentage European migrants who commit crimes as compared to the population already here. The article gives little detail on the specifics of the free movement rules or the alternatives if Britain were the leave the EU. It also criticises member states by suggesting that they cannot keep track of their own “criminals”, effectively share information on them or stop them coming to the UK with no evidence given to support these ideas.
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: Expats quit Europe
Authors: Andrew Elson (Consumer Affairs Correspondent)
Aim of the article: The article is informing readers that Britons living in Europe are leaving due to concerns over loss of their current rights as European citizens, such as state pension and healthcare, if Britain leaves Europe.
Agenda of the article: The articles perspective appears mixed. On one hand the article appears to be highlighting the negatives of leaving the EU for the “1.2 million Britons” currently living on mainland Europe. This appeals to newspapers older readership and also may be representing voiceless “Expat” readers who do live abroad as those who have lived on the continent for 15 years are not allowed to vote in the referendum. However the article gives a significant amount of space to the “pro-leave” spin on this is that the significant numbers of both Britons in the EU and Europeans (here presented as separate to “Britons”) in Britain indicates a “strong hand” in negotiating a deal with Brussels. The combined aspects that argument and the use of the them and us rhetoric regarding British people and Europeans indicate The Times’ desire to present both sides of the debate whilst remaining negative about consequences of leaving Europe.
Bias of the article: The article quotes from both “Stronger In” and “Vote Leave” spokespeople in an unbalanced way, by giving two whole paragraphs to the details of the “Vote Leave” argument as discussed in Agenda above. They also quote from “chairman of the British Community Committee of France” who supports this idea of “panic” arising for those living in Europe.” The article also manipulates the story by suggesting some instability in the line “Thousands return home amid Brexit fears” contradicts “it is not clear whether all those leaving…are returning to Britain.” There is a lack of sources of information provided, such as how The Times investigation came by their statistics, and no information from academics or politicians on the topics discussed.
Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/
Reviewed by: Alice Edwards