Tuesday 5th April 2016

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

The Sunsun.750

Topic of article: Entertainment                                         

Headline: Cheryl: I quit X-factor

Authors: Dan Wooton (Show-business Journalist)

Aim of the article: The article is informing readers of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini leaving her job as a judge on the television talent contest The X-Factor.

 Agenda of the article: The article shows this as a “sensational” event as the show and the role she is leaving has “changed her (Cheryl’s) life” according to friends. They also show it is important to her as she is “close pals” with Simon Cowell, the creator of the show and the article also puts a key focus on her reported relationship with Liam Payne who was a former contestant. The article indicates that the band member is a key reason why that she is leaving the show to “Focus on music…and Liam” in the by-line and by calling him “One Direction lover Liam.” The use of the comic alliteration in the former sentence and the quoting of their ages may suggest some judgement by the writer that the 10-year gap is inappropriate.

 Bias of the article: The articles’ sources are “pals” and are not named and their validity not checked, which is relevant as the singer has regularly ‘left’ and relinquished her role as a judge multiple times. The quotes from “one friend” is also not verified. Furthermore the motives regarding spending more time with Liam Payne is also not substantiated, which is interesting due to the regular scrutiny of Fernadez-Versini regarding her health and fitness to work. Generally the article doesn’t contain any information from those who it is about, specificity any sources and is making this seem like a sudden decision rather than one that has been planned and thought-out.

The Guardianguardian.750

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: Exclusive: The hidden deals that helped David Cameron’s father to avoid paying UK tax

Authors: Juliette Garside (Telecoms and Technology Correspondent)

Aim of the article: This article is part of the Guardian’s Panama revelations series which is based on leaked information from the offshore legal agent Mossack Fonseca that has been obtained by a German newspaper and disseminated via the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The article is persuading the reader that Ian Cameron’s investment fund Blairmore deliberately avoided paying tax in the UK.

 Agenda of the article: Previous headlines in the series related to Vladimir Putin but todays’ focusses on the prime minister’s father who based his company in the Bahamas and incorporated it in Panam. The article is incriminating Ian Cameron, for instance by describing his “expensive”, “complicated” and the use of the “obscure financial instruments” bearer shares to avoid paying any UK tax on his “millions of pounds”. This is relevant as Cameron has been under fire recently for providing tax breaks for the rich whilst making cuts to benefits, for example with disability benefits.  Therefore Cameron is shown to personally benefit, whether in the past or present,  from the current tax situation and loop-holes in the UK. Therefore the article is overall critical of the government’s policies and suggests that they are somewhat based on self-preservation and gain for those high up in the party.

Bias of the article: The article is highly critical of the tax evasion of Ian Cameron, and the Prime Minister by association. The article highlights that Blairmore’s practices were “legal” but likens them to techniques used by “mobsters and tax evaders for money laundering”.  However by indicating that it is illegal in some countries and that these practices are common in offshore funds for them to avoid paying millions in UK tax, suggests that the government are neglecting enacting possibly progressive change in this area. The article gives little to no opportunity for those implicated to represent themselves. Moreover quoting from the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn, in his response to the matters, works towards the articles aim of highlighting the personal reasons for the deep injustices in current Conservative policy and failure of the leadership to reduce them.

The Daily Maildaily_mail.750

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: Cameron dragged into tax havens storm

Author(s): Daniel Martin (Chief Political Correspondent)

Aim of the article: The article is informing readers about the details of the “Panama papers” (same as The Times and The Guardian articles) relating to the Prime Minister’s father’s company Blairmore Holdings.

Agenda of the article: The article is more balanced than the other two articles on the revelations, with it giving more separation between Cameron and his father saying that he “does not personally own shares in any company and no shareholdings are registered in the list of MP’s interests.” However it is still condemning his father using “experts” opinion that the international operations were a “conjuring trick” in order to avoid UK taxes. The use of the word “dragged” also suggests that this is an extremely negative revelation for the Prime Minister that he would have done a lot to avoid, which is alluded to when they refer to him “speaking out repeatedly against tax avoidance” which indicates that he was trying to detach himself from this image of someone who benefits from tax evasion.

Bias of the article: The “experts” that outline the deception of the company are not named and therefore cannot be verified or given validity; furthermore the “senior government officials” who working to repair the Prime Ministers image are also unnamed by the writers. The article does show Cameron to potentially be living by double standards saying how he previously “spearheaded efforts to make global finance transparent” but when asked about his family benefitting from offshore funds saying it was a “private matter.” There is little wider political message in the article about the Conservative government policies and how the tax evasion is still possible to such an extent.

The Timesthe_times.750

Topic of article: Politics

 Headline: Cameron’s father named in offshore tax scandal

Authors: Alexi Mostrous (Special Correspondent), Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor), Sean O’Neill (Chief Reporter)

Aim of the article: The article is describing the details of some of the information leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca describing political leaders and business people that have used the firm to evade tax, mostly focusing on Ian Cameron and his company Blairmore Holdings.

Agenda of the article: The article is using the information regarding the Prime Minister’s father using tactics such as “bearer shares” which “can be used to facilitate money laundering and tax evasion” to cast shadow over his typically good public relations image. The article goes some way to show Cameron as already guilty of benefitting from this tax evasion from the country he represents with the line “Downing Street would not be drawn on whether the family still had a stake in the fund.” The article also works to highlight what a globally significant leak this was with those in power in “China, Russia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan…” all being involving including illustration of this using Vladimir Putin and the Icelandic Prime Minister.

Bias of the article: The article portrays the Prime Minister as hypocritical by saying of bearer shares that he “banned them last year and has called for an international crackdown (on such behaviour)” whilst simultaneously suggesting that his family benefits directly from these – now illegal – techniques. The article quotes purely from the Mossack Fonseca leak and doesn’t quote any individual defending themselves for these accusations. Furthermore there is little explanation on how “anonymous” transactions can now be tracked to the named individuals they are incriminating.

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

Reviewed by: Alice Edwards



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