Wednesday 25th May 2016

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

The SunSun

Topic of article: Sport

Headline: They think its all sober

Authors: Nick Parker (Senior Reporter)

Aim of the article: To report on the recently announced ban on alcohol during the England vs. Wales game on June 16th

 Agenda of the article: Entitle Euro 2016 crackdown and calling the ban ‘unprecedented’, the article paints the English and Welsh fans as being targeted by the French authorities. The proximity of the city to the UK border crossing at Calais means that this match was potentially accessible to larger numbers of fans than usual and the banning of drinking is seen as an affront to the UK. The calling of the French authorities as ‘The French’ by the paper mirrors many of the xenophobic attitudes expressed by certain groups. This article may also have some source of anger in the EU debate and the perceived ills that the continent is willing to inflict upon the UK. It is well known that England has a high rate of alcohol use and so the presentation of this story on the front page, coupled with the topic of an upcoming football event, will help to sell papers as well, a consideration that many newspapers surely pay attention to.

 Bias of the article: There are no interviews with the French authorities for an explanation, although the article does include their own, presumably taken from a press release from the police involved. There is also no response from the football organising bodies involved, in France or the UK. The aim of the article is largely an emotive response, rather than a detailed analysis of the planned actions.

The GuardianGuardian

Topic of article: Economics

Headline: Revealed: The London skyscraper that is a stark symbol of the housing crisis

Authors: Robert Booth (News Reporter) and Helena Bengtsson (Editor for Data Projects)

Aim of the article: Present a report, compiled by the Guardian, on a block of expensive tower flats in central London that are largely owned by rich foreign investors.

Agenda of the article: The article is visually presented with large numbers representing the amount of money spent on living space in the tower by certain investors. Immediately the aim of discussing the cost of living in this location is brought up and easily remembered. This theme continued and elaborated on within the body of the text: not only are these people spending immense sums of money to own prime property in London but, as claimed by the report, the vast majority are foreign owned, barely lived in and not registered to vote. In a city where living costs have been rising exponentially and in a country where owning a house is becoming increasingly difficult the writers want the readers to know how nice real estate is being handled, and to generate an emotional response, one of perhaps anger and amazement. The juxtaposition of the cost and location of the expensive apartments with the ‘affordable housing’ overlooking a dual line carriageway creates an easy to imagine comparison for readers. The article draws comparisons with the Panama papers in some ways, as the Guardian has previously mentioned the ‘different environment in which the rich exist’ and this serves to continue the point.

Bias of the article: There is no mention of the source of some of the data obtained by the investigation, especially regarding the history of some of the tenants, although the writers do reference the Land Registry records and town hall records for the value and voting statistics, making these numbers checkable. There are no interviews with the tenants of the tower, so we have no information on their sides of the story, creating bias in this respect.

The Daily MailMail

Topic of article: Immigration, EU, Politics

Headline: Is this why the PM’s dodging TV debates?

Author(s): Daniel Martin (Chief Political Correspondent), Jason Groves (Deputy Political Editor), Jack Doyle (Political Correspondent)

Aim of the article: To report on the Prime Minister’s refusal to engage in TV debates and to discuss the growing migrant crisis in the EU

Agenda of the article: The article juxtaposes the recent refusal of the PM to be on televised debates with a recent report from Italy claiming they had picked up a large number of migrants in a single day. The Mail claims this number of migrants picked up by Italy is proof that the migrant issue is not being controlled, despite the Turkey-Greece deal. Taken along with recent articles on the impact of immigration to Britain and the failures of the EU there is a strong anti-EU stance being taken here. They want readers to believe that there is little the EU can do to stop immigrants entering the continent, despite their claims of the opposite (also incidentally calling them liars) and that the case for remaining in the EU is made weaker by their report. By including David Cameron’s refusal to be in debates the article has also attempted to frame this information as the cause of the PM’s refusal, making it seem like he is avoiding serious discussion about the dangers presented by immigrants in the EU. The claim that these migrants are coming for a better life and not fleeing war is stated in order to encourage readers to think of them as economic migrants and no refugees, a group that deserves less sympathy.

Bias of the article: There is no mention of where the data regarding immigrant numbers in Italy had been obtained from, making this number questionable. The lack of statistics about immigrants vs. refugees entering and leaving the EU, the specifics of the Turkey-Greece border deal and where the claims of 500,000 migrants entering a year came from cause this article to be heavily weighted towards an agenda taken by the newspaper. There are no interviews with Italian coastguards who may be able to explain the numbers, or with the PM’s office to explain his refusal to appear in debates.

The TimesTimes

Topic of article: Domestic politics

Headline: Care workers see 150,000 children over Baby P fears

Authors: Rosemary Bennett (Social Affairs Correspondent)

Aim of the article: To discuss a recent report on the numbers of referrals to child protection services in the UK from 2009-2010 and to explain the conclusions gathered from the report, namely that there is over-referral due to residual fears left from severe abuse cases.

Agenda of the article: The Times does a decent job of presenting a conclusion with relevant statistics to back some of their arguments. They want the reader to believe that the past abuse case of Baby P in 2008, a severe and extremely public incident, has influenced current child referrals to the point that the services are over-worked and some potentially serious cases may be missed. They quote ‘examples of referrals that failed to make it beyond initial assessment’ and specific statistics form the report to illustrate this effect. The inclusion of recent news about council failures may be used to create an emotional response to the data presented and encourage reader involvement. What is interesting is that these statistics are from 2009-10, or the year after the Baby P case and when presumably the level of awareness was at its highest so to extrapolate these results to the current day and claim in the title that this is a current issue may be misinformed.

Bias of the article: This article reports specific data and quotes from the report, enabling a more detailed analysis of the information. However there are no interviews or ideas from within the child protection services which may have given a deeper understanding of the issues felt at the practice level.

Front page images from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers

Reviewed by: Sam Hewitt

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