Papers reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Politics; Immigration
Author: Tom Newton Dunn (Political Editor)
Headline: As another 330,000 migrants prove we cannot control our own borders, Cameron responds: La-la-la-lala
Aim of article: The article is informing its readers about the Prime Minister’s refusal to answer questions on the figures which showed “net migration hit a near-record 333,000 last year.”
Agenda of article: The front page of The Sun is notably visual. Firstly, there is an image of England and Wales completely filled with people, which appears to have the intention to depict an overcrowded Britain. Secondly, a large image of David Cameron who appears to be childishly blocking his ears appears to be portraying him as a Prime Minister not willing to listen to its “nations immigration fears”. The anti-immigration rhetoric used by the leave campaign, combined with Cameron’s refusal to answer questions about the aforementioned immigration figures and the visual imagery created by The Sun appears to undermine the remain campaign.
Bias of article: The article does not show where it obtained the immigration statistics used in the article. It does not explicitly mention whether the 330,000 migrants are from the EU and this could potential mislead voters. It also fails to mention or elaborate on the reason why Mr Cameron refused to comment. The headline, statistic and the use of the images on the front page, only seem to fuel and perpetuate the notion of anti-immigration that is present in Britain.
Topic of article: Domestic affairs; Politics
Author: Robert Booth (News reporter), Helena Bengtsson (Editor of the Data Projects team) and David Pegg (Reporter)
Headline: Offshore London: secretive firms buying up the capital
Aim of article: The article is informing its readers about the number of properties owned by secretive offshore companies in London.
Agenda of article: This article appears to further emphasise the extent of the use of offshore accounts, a topic that The Guardian heavily reported on when it revealed the Panama paper leak. It uses images of London and cites figures to perhaps surprise its readers of the scale of “anonymous owners shielded by companies in tax havens” that own property in London. Additionally, it raises the issue of foreign buyers using London’s residences as investment assets, similarly to last Wednesday’s Guardian headline. Lastly, the article mentions David Cameron’s comment on the issue of foreign owned property in London and states that shell companies use plundered or laundered cash to buy properties and begs the question of the legitimacy of this type of ownership. Only time will tell if the British government will take action to delegitimise offshore companies.
Bias of article: The Guardian reveal that they used the Land Registry data as their source for their information on property ownership in London. The have also quoted the Mayor of London and David Cameron. However they have not quoted foreign property owners in order to understand why London attracts them and why they use offshore accounts (it may appear obvious but it is not explicit).
Topic of article: Immigration
Author: Steve Doughty (Social Affairs Correspondent)and James Slack (Political Editor)
Headline: Record number of jobless EU migrants in Britain
Aim of article: The article is informing its readers about the number of jobless EU migrants that moved to Britain last year and also mentions other immigration statistics.
Agenda of article: Informing readers about immigration appears to be of utmost importance to the Daily Mail, more so now, when the EU referendum is at stake. It specifically mentions the number of EU nationals that moved to Britain “jobless”, however it does not seem to explain who these nationals are as this number could include children, students and those who hold qualifications with the potential to obtain a job with relative ease. The author also picks two countries in particular: “It also included a record number of arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria” and it is difficult to understand why it does this. It possibly does this to further perpetuate and encourage the divisive nature of the anti-immigration debate and also racism and discrimination towards people from Romania and Bulgaria. Lastly, the author also mentions Cameron’s failure to keep to his pledge to cut net migration, keeping in line with the Daily Mail’s track record of undermining the Prime Minister.
Bias of article: Although the article uses statistics to substantiate its anti-immigration rhetoric, it does not elaborate or explain the figures appropriately and leaves the reader to assume that there is no other explanation for these numbers. Its emphasis on “jobless” EU nationals is not balanced with the benefit that EU nationals bring to Britain.
Topic of article: Politics
Author: Bruno Waterfield (Brussels correspondent)
Headline: EU army plans kept secret from voters
Aim of article: The article reveals to its readers that the EU are secretly planning to develop a European military and operational structures, including a headquarter. These plans seem to be supported by Germany and other EU nations.
Agenda of article: The revelation of these secret plans combined with the article mentioning that Britain, in 2011, has vetoed proposals for an EU military, appears to be fuelling the argument that the EU will be able to impose plans without Britain’s approval how ever true or false this argument is. As the EU referendum day is fast approaching, these revelations possibly makes the EU appear disingenuous: “To prevent the policy paper leaking and derailing David Cameron’s campaign to keep Britain in the EU, the plans will not be sent to national governments until the day after Britons vote”. This could potentially influence voters who are currently on the fence with regards to the referendum
Bias of article: The author does not state how he has obtained this information and who from. This brings the validity of the this article into question, especially when the current EU referendum campaign, on both sides, appears to be fear-mongering. Although the author quotes hand written notes taken by “diplomats”, it is difficult to gauge how accurate or reliable this information is.
Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/
Reviewed by: Bruno Gnaneswaran
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