Monday 20th June 2016

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

The Sunsun.750

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: We Jez can’t keep them out

Authors: Steve Hawkes (Deputy Political Editor)

Aim of the article: The article is informing readers of Jeremy Corbyn saying yesterday that a limit on EU migrant numbers would be difficult to enforce.

Agenda of the article: There is basically two pieces of information The Sun is using here to come to their conclusion that there is “a huge boost for Brexit”: firstly that Corbyn said a limit to migration would be “impossible” and then that Migration Watch “revealed immigration costs us £17billion a year.” The Labour leader’s “confession” that damages his own side seems to bring glee to the article’s writers with their witty pun blotting out the fact that the they in “keep them out” are people. This language evokes the dangerously familiar tone of many of The Sun and The Daily Mail rhetoric that we need to leave the EU so migrants, who only cost us as a nation and are regularly dehumanised, can’t come to Britain anymore.

Bias of the article: The article only quotes Corbyn and Migration Watch with no other sources or views represented and Migration Watch itself is not validated or described. There are no full quotes from Corbyn and therefore they could have selectively quoted without some of his clauses or specifics and there is no verification of what he said.  However, more overarching as an issue, is that this is potent anti-immigration rhetoric used only three days before the vote that could very well take us out of the European Union. The responsibility of the public education is being left with widely read papers such as the The Sun and the interests of the Murdoch’s and they have made it very clear what they want from this referendum.


The Guardianguardian.750

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: I need to make better EU case, says Cameron

Authors:  Rowena Mason (Political Correspondent), Anushka Asthana (Political Editor),  Peter Walker (Reporter)

Aim of the article: The article is setting the scene for the start of the week of the EU referendum, mostly reporting the Prime Minister’s debate on BBC Question Time last night.

Agenda of the article:The article is outlining the next week as pivotal with “polls neck and neck” and goes on to imply the historic nature of the decision including comparison to Chamberlain and Churchill.  The article appreciates some criticisms from both sides including the “confusing” nature of the campaigns, the difficulty of trying to appeal cross-party and the divisive usage of anti-immigration rhetoric. However, generally, this article is supportive of Cameron and the Remain campaign, describing him as being “given a hard time” and appearing “shaken and emotional.” By quoting him at length and without much analysis his message of “what sort of country do we want this to be?” and the “clear choice” between the tolerant and intolerant versions of Britain dominate the article. Furthermore the parallels Cameron wants to make with Churchill may go further:  Churchill’s wartime leadership may have transcended party allegiances, he may have not been for everyone, but he was the right man at the right time to win the war against Hitler and the atrocities of his leadership; evoking that patriotic image may be what Cameron wants.

Bias of the article: Perhaps the final line of the front page is the most telling of the sense of the article with Stephen Kinnock commenting on the politics and “venom” that contributed to Cox’s death: “If you try to light a fuse, you can’t be surprised when it catches.” And so , though there is some critiquing of Cameron’s Question Time comments including his lack of longevity at Number 10 in case of Brexit and Leave campaign’s criticisms of the use of Cox’s death, this article is supporting Remain. The overwhelming feeling is of gravity that this is not just a vote about Britain in Europe, this is about “intolerance”, the “poison that has seeped into our politics” and the history and future of Britain.

 The Daily Maildaily_mail.750

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: PM’s TV mauling over migration

Author(s): James Slack (Political Editor); Daniel Martin (Chief Political Correspondent)

Aim of the article: The article is informing readers of the criticism of David Cameron during the BBC Question Time EU referendum special last night.

Agenda of the article: This article makes it seem that the Prime Minister lost the debate of Cameron (Remain) vs. The People (Leave) last night. They describe that the audience “ripped into the Prime Minister’s renegotiation deal”, “openly mocked” him and that this was a “bruising clash with the public” and this portrays lonely Cameron in the Remain camp with the general public supporting Leave. The popular theme of migration is still energetically played upon with Cameron’s “failure” to veto Turkey – and their “77 million citizens” – becoming EU members.  There is also detail in the comparison between Cameron not finalising his renegotiation deal with EU leaders to Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s which “encouraged further aggression by Hitler” whilst simultaneously the article mocks Cameron comparing his fight to stay in the EU to “Churchill’s stand against Hitler.”

Bias of the article: The article quotes heavily and selectively from the TV programme itself, mostly from the criticisms from the audience that support the pro-Brexit arguments for example “migrants…’flooding’ Britain’s public services.” The only quotes from Cameron is that he “admitted he needed to do ‘better’” and compared himself to Churchill – both of which are negative. In addition to the lack of wider analysis or comment there is no reference to polls or what proportion of the public support the Remain campaign along with Cameron. Effectively – based on this article –  you would not assume this is a close vote.


The Timesthe_times.750

Topic of article:  Politics

Headline: Brexit camp divided as senior Tory walks out

Authors: Francis Elliot (Political Editor); Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor)

Aim of the article: The article is updating readers on the “splits opening in the Leave camp” focussing on Baroness Warsi leaving amongst other issues.

Agenda of the article: The article initially appears to be dichotomously split in two: its first half describing the causes of the “worst bout of infighting among Leave supporters” and the second providing a collection of generally pro-Leave bullet points. The main issues raised for why the Leave side are fracturing is their tactics of “hate and xenophobia” criticised by Baroness Warsi and the infamous ‘breaking point’ poster. However what the article does is to create this polarisation within the Leave with the dominant moderates such as Grayling, Gove, Johnson and –  we can only assume – The Times itself against the more extreme and marginal seeming Farage’s Ukip who are causing this rift. The article goes on to their pro-Leave points:  a Times investigation showing how “illegal migrants…bought the right to live in Britain” and a Conservative MP’s criticism of Remain “spinning Jo Cox murder.”

Bias of the article: As highlighted above, the article holds various opinions and representing those quoted including Baroness Warsi, Michael Gove, Chris Grayling, Nigel Farage, Corbyn, Boris Johnson, Andrew Murrison and the newspaper’s own investigation. The article also describes how close the polls are with YouGov putting Remain “1 point ahead.” Oddly, the criticism of the anti-immigration aspects of the Leave campaign then grates against The Times going on to describe their findings of being able to buy EU citizenship and therefore live in the UK and with highlighting the fears provoked by Corbyn saying  there would be “no upper limit” to migration in the EU. In summary the article is critical of aspects of the Leave campaign however goes no distance in providing support for the Remain side and additionally goes some way to even present itself as anti-immigration.

Front page images from:

The Guardian read on:

Reviewed by: Alice Edwards




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