Thursday 23rd June 2016

European Union Referendum Special

Papers Reviewed: The Guardian, Daily Express, Daily Mirror, The Sun, Daily Mail, The Times, The Independent, Western Mail (Wales), The Scotsman (Scotland)

The Guardianguardian.750

Headline: Last-ditch push to stay in Europe

Remain or Leave: Remain

Their Spin: With an article almost entirely dedicated to the Remain campaign, the paper also leads with a large picture of night-time Europe from space, hoping to evoke solidarity with the continent and a feeling of the UK being more than just an island off the coast of mainland Europe. The article itself focuses on those campaigning for remain and their past 24 hour activity, while also mentioning the many reasons given to remain in the EU. The tone seems quite, almost cautious, with mention of the tightly contested polls and a final urge for voters to vote remain.

Who funds/runs/owns the paper: The Guardian Media Group which is run by The Scott Trust Limited as a charitable foundation


Daily Expressdaily_express.750

Headline: Vote Leave Today

Remain or Leave: Leave

Their Spin: The paper calls today a ‘moment of destiny’ for which Britain has been waiting for decades. It implores its readers to vote leave, so that the UK can finally step out of what it sees as the shadow of the European Union and stand as an independent and powerful country. The graphic on the cover uses wartime British themes (your country needs you) as a call to arms for voters to do what is right. The theme of the article is that Britain has been beaten down and forced to exist in subjugation to the EU and a vote for leave equals a revolution and a new beginning.

Who funds/runs/owns the paper: Owned by Richard Desmond within the Northern & Shell group


Daily Mirrormirror.750

Headline: Don’t take a leap in the dark… vote remain today

Remain or Leave: Remain

Their Spin: The paper does not lead with many words, rather a front page picture of a dark hole, implying that to vote leave would mean to jump into the unknown depths of the hole. It is meant to scare readers who are undecided, to make them imagine looking down into the depths and deciding not to metaphorically jump and vote leave. It also implores voters to consider the areas that it believes will be hit the hardest with a vote to leave: family, children, the NHS and their pay packets. These are all very personal areas which are important to many people and by evoking these the paper hopes to make people vote in their best individual interests.

Who funds/runs/owns the paper: Owned by Trinity Mirror with Lloyd Embley as the editor.


The Sunsun.750

Headline: Independence day

Remain or Leave: Leave

Their spin: The newspaper is openly urging its readers to vote leave as this will be “winning Britain’s independence from the crushing might of the Brussels machine”. The front-page image and title makes todays vote very dramatic, likening it to the 1996 film Independence Day despite the U.K. being an independent nation for centuries.

Who funds/runs/owns the paper: Owned by News Corp Group run by Rupert Murdoch. Tony Gallagher is the newspaper editor


Daily Maildaily_mail.750

Headline: Nailed: Four Big EU Lies

Remain or Leave: Leave

Their spin: On the final day of the referendum, the Daily Mail is trying to undermine the Remain camp further by showing its readers four ‘lies’ the remain camp have used. Three out of four of the ‘lies’ are based on immigrations fears, where “talks with Turkey WILL start in days”, “Brussels will NOT reform open borders” and “Deportation of jobless EU migrants a MYTH”. The Daily Mail has been relentless in its leave message since campaigning has begun but instead of telling its readers how to vote on the final day it keeps attempting to dispel the remain argument.

Who funds/runs/owns the paper: Owned by Daily Mail and General Trust run by Lord Rothermere


The Timesthe_times.750

Headline: Final polls leave Britain’s future on a knife edge

Remain or Leave: Remain

Their spin: Rather than having a dramatic spin for today’s vote or urging its readers to vote one way or the other, the front-page article discusses the exit polls and how close the EU referendum will be today. They state that it is difficult to call which camp will be victorious. Nevertheless, the article provides a brief background on why the referendum was called and provides a platform for what Boris Johnson said yesterday in a speech at a Darlington pub.

Who funds/runs/owns the paper: Owned by News Corp Group run by Rupert Murdoch. John Witherow is the newspaper editor


The Independent (Online)  the_independent.750

Headline: The Day of Reckoning

Remain or Leave: Remain

Their spin: Despite that numbers have proven to be unreliable and unoriginal in the lead up to today’s vote, the paper choses to use their front page to present different statistics in order to persuade readers to vote to remain in the European Union. The numbers used are divided into two: those used to clearly support remain such as the higher percentage of “working-age EU citizens in the UK” in employment compared to UK counterparts; and debunking of the information provided by the Leave campaign for example the UK’s ‘true’ “net weekly contribution to the EU.” They also add the element of urgency with the final time to vote at “10pm” also being included in addition to the ominous title.

Who funds/runs/owns the paper: Alexander Lebedev.


Western Mail (Wales)western_mail.750

Headline: Last-ditch bid for votes as EU result on a knife edge

Remain or Leave: Remain

Their spin: The article initially seems neutral with reporting of two polls showing narrow margins but different sides victorious and also reporting the politicians on the two sides of the BBC Wales EU debate. However, generally, the article is dominated by pro-Remain views: Jean-Claude Juncker emphasising the futility of expecting to renegotiate; Cameron playing the ‘think of your children’ card and, most topically, first minister Carwyn Jones doing an amazing job of capitalising on Wales’ results in the Euros by comparing Brexit to the team’s prior impotence “standing on the sidelines” whilst excluded from the international football scene.

Who funds/runs/owns the paper: Trinity Mirror the largest newspaper group in the UK including The Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, People.


The Scotsman (Scotland)scotsman.750

Headline: EU future on a knife edge

Remain or Leave: Remain

Their spin: Similarly to the Western Mail, The Scotsman focuses more on how “too close to call” today’s vote is and appears to set the scene describing both Johnson and Cameron on the campaign trail in equal brevity. As you read on, however, the paper focuses on both Scottish and Labour politicians uniting, despite any other news to the contrary, in support of the Remain campaign. This includes detailing both the coming together of Labour leaders in London and Nicola Sturgeon uniting with opposition leaders in Scotland to urge Scottish voters to vote to keep Britain within the European Union on this pivotal day.

Who funds/runs/owns the paper: Johnson Press who also own the Yorkshire Post, Falkirk Herald, The News Letter (Belfast), The News (Portsmouth.)

Image sources:

Contributors: Sam Hewitt, Bruno Gnaneswaran, Alice Edwards


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s