Monday 23rd May 2016

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

The Sunsun.750

Topic of article: Entertainment

Headline: £90M Adele

Authors:  Dan Wootton (Show Business Journalist)

Aim of the article: The article is informing readers that singer Adele has been signed by Sony for £90 million.

Agenda of the article: The paper features this on their front page as they feel this record contract is a significant achievement for Adele and quote a Sony source saying she is “without doubt the biggest music star in a generation” to emphasise this. They also note that the contract is worth more than the British record-holder Robbie Williams and for any woman worldwide by comparing to Whitney Houston. The article appears to be proud of Adele and associates her with other British legend James Bond by calling her “the 28 year old Skyfall singer” and the play-on-word heading “skyhaul exclusive.”

Bias of the article: The article is sensationalising this “massive” story and only uses one quote which supports this which is from the music company that is providing the contract. There is no comment on wider issues such as the influences and worth of musician’s contracts, dominance of big record labels in the music industry or even gender inequality in the entertainment industry despite the paper commenting on Adele being female.

The Guardianguardian.750 (1)

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: Snowden: whistleblowers deserve better protection

Authors: Spencer Ackerman (Washington Correspondent), Ewen MacAskill (Defence and Intelligence Correspondent)

Aim of the article: The article informs readers of new revelations from senior Pentagon investigator, John Crane, regarding the hazards of being a whistle-blower in the US and provides Edward Snowden’s view on this too.

Agenda of the article: The article appears supportive of the detailed quotes they have provided from Snowden and Crane and is sympathetic to both Snowden and Drake who was another whistle-blower. They provide a moral argument for the changing of policy for whistle-blowers by quoting Snowden “no incentives for people to stand up against an agency on the wrong side of the law.”  There is an element to which the article pits the ‘system’ “Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton”, “colleagues, supervisors and lawyers” who they pose as in denial or supressing those attempting to identify wrongdoings against whistle-blowers and those supporting them.  Furthering this they highlight the illogicality of whistle-blowers being “investigated because they are whistle-blowers” and overall the article strengthens the view that drawing attention to wrongdoing from within US security and governmental structures is not only discouraged but actively concealed.

Bias of the article: Two views dominate the article: the revelations from the new book of John Crane and one of Edward Snowden, responding to Crane’s account. Snowden is almost at household name status for Guardian readership and the relationship between the newspaper and the Snowden has been strong since his publishing of the National Security Agency files in 2013. The article, in its nature as an exposé, doesn’t represent the views of those being criticised and there is a significant amount of assumed prior knowledge, particularly regarding what issues whistle-blowers are raising and how substantial these are.

 The Daily Maildaily_mail.750

Topic of article: Domestic Affairs; International Affairs

Headline: Truth about Andrew’s £15million house sale

Author(s): None provided on front page

Aim of the article: The article is informing readers of a Daily Mail exclusive regarding leaked emails of the Queen’s son Prince Andrew showing his involvement of selling one of his homes to a “Kazakh oligarch.”

Agenda of the article: The article is a continuation of the Mail’s character assassination of Prince Andrew based on the idea that he abused his Royal status and previous role as British trade envoy in order to benefit personally from foreign investments. The paper feels their role is to “expose” this corruption to the public and also uses the opportunity to stereotype “the wealthy Kazakhs” who they have previously named (see sources) as “oil rich” and “corrupt.” The Mail generally is supportive of the Royal Family and so their view is that Prince Andrew  is at fault by allowing this corruption to cut deep to the Royals by offering off “Crown Estate” property for a “‘peppercorn rent’” and “extraordinarily” trying to get the Queen’s bank to accept an “Kazakh oligarch” as a client.

Bias of the article: The article provides quotes from the leaked emails the paper has obtained as part of this exposé in order to illustrate his staff being involved in his dealings. Other than this, there is no substantiation of any of the claims made in the article, with no evidence or effort to explain any aspect of the dealings. There is no comment on how this reflects on the monarchy as a whole or how Prince Andrew is actually contravening any law or guidelines in his behaviour, and the sources of income of other family members. Interestingly the paper quoted the anti-monarchy campaigners Republic in their initial revelations over the weekend; however discussion of this type is absent here.

 The Timesthe_times.750

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: Brexit vote will trigger recession

Authors: Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor)

Aim of the article: This article is updating readers on the further unfolding of the EU referendum debate and the role the recent Treasury report on the short-term economic consequences of Brexit.

Agenda of the article: So no surprises here as the classic Times article on the referendum makes its weekly appearance. This comprises of the recent released report or statistics which is today provided by George Osbourne and the Treasury who are warning of “6%” economy drops”, and then the response:  Vote Leave call it “scaremongering” and Iain Duncan Smith undermines the validity of the report by emphasising the requirement for the independent forecaster the Office for Budget Responsibility. There are also the typical cohort of topical contributors to the storm including pro-Brexit MP Sarah Wollaston criticising Vote Leave rhetoric and the justice minister attacking the EU for supporting anti-immigration parties. Play it again, Sam?

Bias of the article: The article leads with the discussion of what the Treasury report predicts and Osbourne’s viewpoint including using the rhetorical questions of “does Britain really want this DIY recession?” and the emotive language of “the British people have worked so hard to get our country back on track.” The Brexit side are less represented and placed at the end of the article with Iain Duncan Smith and Vote Leave quoted. There is no independent view point represented despite Duncan Smith himself indicating the need for it and none of the arguments on either side are analysed in depth, if at all.

Front page images from:

Guardian read via:

Daily Mail Article referred to:

Reviewed by: Alice Edwards

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