Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Entertainment/Popular Culture
Headline: Lotto liar’s Vaux-hall
Authors: Dan Sales (News Reporter)
Aim of the article: The article is informing readers that a woman who claimed to have won the £33million National Lottery jackpot, but was found to not have won, has bought a new car.
Agenda of the article: The article is continuing on from the tabloid press ridiculing this woman which has included publishing images from her online dating profiles and topless images of her (The Daily Mail.) The article is pointing out that she receives disability benefit for a heart condition and this money is likely to have partially contributed to her purchasing a new car, which the article feels is unfair. The newspaper has regular bouts of disgust for those who receive any benefits from the state – for whatever reason – and they have taken this opportunity to use someone they have already slandered as a “liar” as an example of this.
Bias of the article: The article uses inflammatory language about the woman including branding her as a “liar” regarding her Lottery claim, describing her car as being “funded by the taxpayer” and giving detail about the car being a “£20,000” “Limited Edition Sport.” It doesn’t give any information on how common it is that people claim to have won the Lottery and subsequently are found to have not won or any views of the individual herself. It lacks any substantial economic or political argument about state provision of disability benefits and goes no way in representing the view that her heart condition could mean she specifically needs her own method of transport i.e. a car. The only quote is from “a source” saying it “will infuriate a lot of people” with no specifics about who these people are or why exactly they would be “infuriated” by one relatively unknown woman purchasing a car with money that millions of people in the UK also claim for valid reasons.
Topic of article: Politics; Economics
Headline: Revealed: the £25m payout to BHS bosses
Authors: Graham Ruddick (Senior Business Reporter), Sarah Butler (Retail Correspondent)
Aim of the article: The article is updating readers on the unfolding of events surrounding British Home Stores (BHS) going into administration this week
Agenda of the article: The article is squarely aimed at criticising the “stewardship” of BHS by current and former owners Retail Acquisitions and Sir Phillip Green and the disparity between them, who profited extensively, and those who work for the company who are soon to pay the price if a buyer is not found and they have to find new employment. The paper appears to agree with the Conservative MP that they quote that this represents the “unacceptable face of capitalism.” The paper characterises both Dominic Chappell, who owns 90% of Retail Acquisitions, and Sir Phillip Green as irresponsible businessmen living a life of luxury by highlighting Green recently buying a “£100m 94-metre yacht” and Chappell being “declared bankrupt twice.” This is contrasted by describing the situation for those who work at BHS, who – even with the bailing out of the “state-backed Pension Protection Fund” – are still set to lose out.
Bias of the article: The article quotes statistics from unnamed “sources with knowledge of BHS finances” to illustrate their points and there is some detail of how much money, and under what guise, was paid to Retail Acquisitions over the last year. The article also quotes a number of politicians, from both the cabinet and shadow cabinet, to highlight the importance of this issue. The article doesn’t include any views from Green or Chappell or, in fact, any from those who work in the BHS stores who face unemployment and reduced pensions. There is also little further analysis of how the situation arose or how widespread the gap between the highest and lowest earners in major retail companies is.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Politics; Economics
Headline: Sharks who bled BHS dry
Author(s): Sean Poulter (Consumer Affairs Editor), Laura Chesters (Business Reporter)
Aim of the article: The article is persuading readers that the bankruptcy of British Home Stores is damaging employees despite benefitting the “sharks” that ran the company.
Agenda of the article: The article creates the image of cruel “city fat cats” of Sir Phillip Green and the current, unnamed, owner who have made potentially up to “£1Billion” from BHS which is now going into administration in debts of “£1.3B” with a “£571 million deficit in the pension fund.” The issue is also political with both Labour and “Tory” MPs’ opinions being described in the article and saying that “MPs have pledged to investigate” further. The article is emotive and uses language such as highlighting that BHS has been a “high street fixture for 88 years” to suggest it is an institution that has been ruthlessly disrespected and that “11,000 staff face the dole and a hard-up old age” to instil anger in readers at the unfairness of the situation.
Bias of the article: The article is clearly in support of the workers at BHS and against the previous and current owners. The quotes only come from politicians criticising the running of the company which includes the quote from the shadow chancellor Angela Eagle raising the issue of Green using “his favourite tax haven” which echoes the recent tax avoidance revelations running through the press. The article does quote from a staff member but only shortly saying “some telling of betrayed by ‘thieving b******s’” and there is no further analysis on how this was allowed to happen or the wider issues surrounding the pay disparity in business and lack of protections for workers when companies go into administration.
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: Cabinet split over Brexit cash for striking doctors
Authors: Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor), Chris Smyth (Health Editor)
Aim of the article: The article is informing readers that members of the Vote Leave campaign have said that money saved by leaving the EU would resolve the Junior Doctors industrial action dispute which is currently ongoing
Agenda of the article: The paper is showing that the cabinet split over the EU is infiltrating other areas of politics as they are not united behind Jeremy Hunt (Health Secretary) who is “forcing through” the new Junior Doctors contract this summer. It highlights that “two cabinet ministers” Michael Gove (Justice Secretary) and Chris Grayling (leader of the Commons) are presenting the argument of Vote Leave that just a small portion of the annual contribution to the EU could make up the cuts to Junior Doctors pay. This is set on the dramatic backdrop of the article describing the extent of the “unchartered territory” of the “first total walkout in NHS history” describing the “12,000 operations” cancelled and the “up to 45,000 junior doctors striking.”
Bias of the article: The article quotes in order to emphasise the split by pitting Hunt against the two cabinet ministers supporting the Vote Leave campaign however overall there is more weight and space given to those of the Vote Leave campaign – suggesting the paper supports this suggestion as a quick-fix solution to the doctors contract dispute. To increase the sense of “mounting disruption” of the health service they also quote “health chiefs” who “concede that routine care ‘will go by the board’.”
Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers
Reviewed by: Alice Edwards