Papers Reviewed: The Daily Express, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
The Daily Express
Topic of article: Health; Politics
Headline: Migrants will pay more for NHS
Authors: Macer Hall (Political Editor)
Aim of the article: The article is informing readers of the changes to payments required by migrants for NHS services.
Agenda of the article: The article is hailing this change as a positive and uses language that is ultimately negative towards migrants. This includes describing them as “new arrivals” and the use of the verbs “told” and “hand over cash” which is implying that people moving to this country (for whatever reason) should have to pay and effectively do as they’re “told.” There is little detail on what the exact payments will be and what the paper means by the word “migrants” which is interesting in itself as those who move from outside the EU to the UK do not necessarily have immediate free access to the NHS anyway. There is a continued lack of clarity about what constitutes a migrant and why the paper feels there could be negative connotations associated with them.
Bias of the article: The article doesn’t provide sources or quotes and therefore it is hard to determine the bias, however generally it appears to be supportive of the changes which will mean that migrants have to pay for some NHS services. The article doesn’t present any facts or statistics surrounding this issue, for example numbers of those who they consider are currently ‘migrants’ using NHS services for free. There is no representation of the view of NHS, politicians or those who are ‘migrants.’
Topic of article: Crime
Headline: Revenge porn caution sparks anger at police
Authors: Sandra Laville (Senior Correspondent)
Aim of the article: The article is informing readers about the lack of prosecution of the crime of ‘revenge porn’ which is defined as disclosing private sexual photographs and films without the consent of the individual and with intent to cause distress.
Agenda of the article: The Guardian uses an example of a 15 year old to illustrate how vulnerable victims of revenge porn are and how “wider inaction” of the criminal justice system on this matter means that very few perpetrators have been prosecuted since it was brought into law in April 2015. The article indicates that revenge porn is widespread both in this case where multiple individuals were targeted by the same man and by quoting that “1160 reports … between April and December 2015 made to 31 police forces.” This is combined with reminding readers of the BBC’s freedom of information request last month that showed that 61% of reported offences resulted in no action being taken.
Bias of the article: The article quotes extensively from the 15 year old victim’s mother who, unsurprisingly, is horrified with the outcome for her daughter and calls it “absolutely disgusting.” There is also a substantial amount of detailing the guidance provided by the director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders, regarding how the crimes should be classified particularly when considering minors. This adds to the sense of discordance between what has been put into law regarding revenge porn and what is happening in practice. The article gives no viewpoint from those in the police on why it may be difficult to prosecute in practice or from those who may have been accused of revenge porn.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: EU Vote: Now PM warns of war and genocide
Author(s): James Slack (Political Editor), Gerri Peev (Political Correspondent)
Aim of the article: The article is updating readers on the current EU referendum debate with a particular focus on persuading them that the Prime Minister and the Vote Leave campaign are getting “desperate.”
Agenda of the article: The article is clearly agreeing with “out campaigners” who say that Cameron’s emotive use of “wheeling out military veterans” and citing international cooperation as an argument to remain within the EU is an indicator that they are “panicking” and “desperate.” The article uses “historians” to dismiss Cameron’s claims and highlights that even the support of Obama has not given the stay campaign a lead in the polls. The “comment” box inset reflects the article by asking when the “PM will tone down the rhetoric” suggesting that the campaign of “claiming” “dire warnings” for example house prices “collapsing” is all exaggerated to an “extraordinary” and effectively false level by Cameron for his own agenda.
Bias of the article: The article only directly quotes, briefly, the speech by Cameron on this front page and no other sources are provided except the accusations by unnamed “out campaigners” which are discussed in detail and are not analysed for their bias by the writers. The presentation of Cameron’s campaign is that it is manipulative and “treating the electorate” like children and there is no balanced representation of the stay campaign within the article. There are no quotes from any specific “historians” or anyone with a more independent viewpoint on any of the claims from either side.
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: Brexit will raise risk of world war, PM claims
Authors: Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor), Phillip Aldrick (Economics Editor)
Aim of the article: The article is updating readers on the European Union Referendum’s two campaigns, particularly focussing on today’s speech by the Prime Minister.
Agenda of the article: The article provides a variety of sources of information on those who are throwing their hats into the ring regarding the EU in/out debate. Overall it gives significant column inches to David Cameron’s argument that Britain has an essential role in international conflict resolution from within the EU, citing the Balkans and two World Wars as examples. However there is also discussion of the Vote Leave arguments including the unexplained but apparently “unsustainable pressure” of the “1/15 school children” with a parent who is a citizen of another country. Furthering this, the article quotes the latest YouGov poll showing vote leave on40% and stay on 42% with a significant number yet undecided.
Bias of the article: The article supports Cameron by quoting him so much, including him using the emotive topics of Commonwealth war cemeteries and the Britain Stronger in Europe video of veterans released today. However the vast array of politicians, business people and figures including former director general of M15 used in the article provides a mixed picture. In addition the article uses words such a “PM claims” and “concern in No 10” regarding the “stubbornness” of the leave supporters to indicate that the vote is still unpredictable and likely will continue to be on their front page. There is little analysis of any of the individual claims, for instance regarding international politics, the effect of a single market or the impact on banks. Once again voters or the public are not represented by the paper.
Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/
Reviewed by: Alice Edwards