Friday 17th June 2016

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

The SunScreen Shot 2016-06-17 at 19.27.43

Topic of article: Crime

Author: Paul Sims (news reporter)

Headline: My Jo

Aim of article: The article is informing its readers about the death of Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, in West Yorkshire.

Agenda of article: The article is strangely putting an emphasis on Jo Cox’s husband rather than her: “Husband’s moving tribute”, “Heartbroken Brendan Cox” and also by its headline “My Jo”. It is difficult to gauge why the author is doing this instead of describing Jo Cox, who she was and what she stood for. Perhaps, this is a patriarchal display from The Sun as it puts more importance on Jo Cox’s husband rather than her, which is rather alarming. This is further highlighted by the picture at the bottom of the page of Jo Cox and her husband on their wedding day.

Bias of article: The article fails to be descriptive of Jo Cox, it does not describe that she is a Labour MP nor does the author describe the circumstances in which she was killed. It just graphically describes that she was “shot 3 times and knifed 7 times”. The author describes the killer as a “crazed loner” and does not mention that he yelled “Britain first” when he killed her.

The Guardian Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 17.56.50

Topic of article: Crime

Author: Robert Booth (News reporter), Vikram Dodd (Police and crime correspondent), Nazia Parveen (North of England correspondent), Helen Pidd (North of England editor)

Headline: ‘She believed in a better world and she fought for it every day’

Aim of article: The article is informing its readers about the recent death of Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, in West Yorkshire.

Agenda of article: The article begins with Jo Cox’s husband’s statement which is calling on people to fight “the hatred that killed her”. The article continues with details and facts of her killing and also more of her husband’s moving statement. There is also specific mention of the killer and the potential motivators and contributing factors for Jo Cox’s killing – far right ideology and mental health issues are mentioned. Overall, the article is very descriptive of the events and it also raises possibilities and concerns over security in relation to MPs.

Bias of article: The article mainly uses quotes from Brendan Cox, Jo Cox’s husband and her friend, Stephen Doughty. News stories often quote close family or friends of victims, as usually, they are the ones who know most about her and provide readers with more of an insight and connection to the victim. Quotes from the police, if available, to provide more of an understanding of the line enquiry the investigation is on would be useful.

Daily Mail Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 19.12.49

Topic of article: Crime

Author: Chris Greenwood (Crime reporter), Chris Brooke (News reporter) and Andy Dolan (Midland based news reporter)

Headline: What a tragic waste

Aim of article: The article is informing its readers about the death of Jo Cox

Agenda of article: Despite the Daily Mail’s consistent and at times aggressive anti-EU rhetoric, today, it has deemed Jo Cox’s tragic death as newsworthy (the Orlando attack was not on Monday). The article uses words such as “devoted”, “dedicated” and “truly remarkable” to describe Jo Cox despite her being a strong Remain supporter. The article describes the murderer as a “loner” and someone “with a history of mental illness” which appear to be unhelpful comments and also alienating for those that have mental illnesses. These descriptions appear to be excuses to why this crime was carried out and deviates away from the crux of the matter and also debate as to why such crimes occur.

Bias of article: The article quotes Jo Cox’s husband briefly. Although it describes the murderer as a loner and someone with a history mental illness, it does not state how they came to that conclusions, reducing the validity and reliability of the article.

The Times Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 19.12.34

Topic of article: Crime

Author: Georgie Keate, Fiona Hamilton, Gabriella Swerling, Sean O’Neill

Headline: Murdered MP had faced string of security threats

Aim of article: The article is attempting to inform its readers about Jo Cox’s death, describing the events as well as her security concerns.

Agenda of article: The article puts emphasis on the security and threat surrounding MPs and in particular Jo Cox, where the author raises the point that she “had been harassed in a stream of messages over three months”. The authors also speculate that this attack is linked to the European Union referendum and her Remain position to the “Britain first” yelled by the killer. Jo Cox’s husband’s statement is also printed in full on the front page.

Bias of article: The emphasis of the authors on security or lack thereof is confusion and difficult to understand. The article appears to concentrate on the lack of security and there is no discussion on whether perhaps the alternative approach of preventing such crimes from happening in the first place rather than boosting security may potentially be beneficial. The article fails to elaborate on this. There is also a paragraph which mentions that Mrs Cox had regretted nominating Mr Corbyn for the Labour Party leadership and it is difficult to ascertain the relevance of this.

Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/

Reviewed by: Bruno Gnaneswaran

If you are interested in becoming part of the Between The Headlines contributors’ team please email readingbetweentheheadlines@gmail.com for further information.

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