Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Sport
Headline: New bawls please
Authors: Dan Sales (News Reporter), Katie Hodge (News Reporter)
Aim of the article: The article is informing readers that Andy Murray has won Wimbledon for the second time, with his previous win being in 2013.
Agenda of the article: The article strikes relatively mocking tone with the headline highlighting that Murray cried after his win yesterday and, despite the short length of the text, they manage to note thrice that he “broke down in tears”, that there were “tears at Wimbo” and he “wept.” The article’s focus on him crying could simply be highlighting how important the match was and so therefore how “emotional” the “hero” Murray was at such a feat, but there is also the element of criticism of his masculinity. The Sun uses him crying to contrast to, and undermine, his image of sporting “hero” with physical prowess and uses this to perpetuate the fossil idea that being ‘masculine’ – whatever they believe that to be – is incongruous with having sufficient emotions to “weep” after winning one of the most important matches of your life. Whatevz.
Bias of the article: The article is mostly reporting the facts of the straights set victory and, lest we forget, the fact that Murray cried aided by photos – as if we couldn’t quite believe it that a sporting “hero” would do such a thing. There are no specific sources or quote provided and therefore further bias cannot be assessed.
Topic of article: Health
Headline: Transgender clinic referrals soar
Authors: Kate Lyons (Special Projects Desk Reporter)
Aim of the article: The article is part of a special report on the inadequate services provided by the NHS for the increasing numbers of people in the UK who want to take steps to change their gender.
Agenda of the article: The article is reporting an issue that has been developing for years but is woefully underreported and therefore its main goal is to raise awareness for the 15,000 gender identity patients in Britain who do not have their needs met. The bulk of the article is composed of statistics from the journalists’ Freedom of Information Act Request. This details the massive increase in referrals of up to “100%” in recent years to the 14 gender identity clinics throughout the country, and the list signifies how nationwide both the referrals and lack of resources truly are. The waiting times are raised as a key issue with “new patients waiting up to 4 years for their first appointment” which the article later highlight can be a dangerous time for a group who have “much higher rates of depression and higher rates of suicide than the rest of the population.”
Bias of the article: Other than the referral and waiting times statistics from the numerous gender identity clinics there are two other quotes in the article. The first is from lead Psychiatrist at the “largest centre” at Charing Cross who emphasises the increasing rate of referrals. The second, longer, quote is from the Trans programme coordinator for the LGBT Foundation “who waited two years for his first appointment” and describes the dangerous “desperation” of the lengthy waiting lists during which people are “completely on their own.” The article is reporting what they have found and is not aiming to provide pros and cons of gender identity clinics or allow people to make the right to care of transgender people something that is up for debate. Therefore it is unsurprising that any criticism of the clinics or negative speculation around increasing demand is absent from the article.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Health; Politics
Headline: Health tourists jump NHS queue
Author(s): Sophie Borland (Health Correspondent), Katherine Faulkner (Assistant News Editor)
Aim of the article: The article is reporting a Daily Mail investigation into the waiting lists for NHS cataract operations and that, they report, “health tourists” are given priority for these operations.
Agenda of the article: Predictable as ever the Daily Mail is attacking anyone receiving healthcare that they believe do not deserve it compared to “British patients”. This time it is based on their investigation that patients from countries such as “Nigeria and Zimbabwe” have “jumped the queue” for cataract operations. This is explained to be because they “their conditions re deemed ‘urgent’” with the ‘urgent’ in quotation marks because clearly the paper knows better than doctors about how patients should best be treated. The impact of these “849 overseas patients in two years” has led to some “rationing” with other patients “receiving treatment in only one eye” and that “many” of the health tourists “fly home without paying the £2,500” for the operation.
Bias of the article: There is no source provided for where the paper obtained its information for this investigation from and therefore there is no way to verify the information provided. The article clearly believes that this practice of treating even ‘urgent’ cataract cases for patients from abroad is wrong and doesn’t provide anything other than outrage in terms of further discussion or analysis of the causes or alternative solutions for the issue. There are no quotes in the article and no individual view is represented. Furthermore there is this painful distinction they make effort to make between, we assume they feel, deserving “British patients” and, apparently manipulative, “overseas health tourists” whom the paper has no empathy for.
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: May vow to crack down on greed of big business
Authors: Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor)
Aim of the article: The article is describing the stance of candidate for Conservative Prime Minister, Theresa May, on the economy and big business.
Agenda of the article: The image of May portrayed in this article is a bold one. She is shown as someone making her humble “admission” of the current government’s failures in order to distance herself from their relationship with big business, and also as a woman of the people who wants to support those “who made the real sacrifices after the financial crash.” Somehow May becomes the champion of the everyday person and asks for an “economy that works for everyone” and for more to “share in the country’s prosperity.” Furthering this there is strong criticism of Leadsom, highlighting calls from senior MPs for her to withdraw after her comments regarding motherhood. Effectively there are two things this article wants you to know: firstly that May should be supported as the new leader rather than Leadsom and, secondly, that May is some sort of pioneering egalitarian fighting for economic parity for the “ordinary people.”
Bias of the article: The article is based on a series of direct quotes from May to The Times and therefore, unsurprisingly, it is almost totally dominated by positive comments about her. Any balance is absent, the only contrast to the string of altruistic visions May has is to describe how the current government has a very different view “rejecting the idea that the fruits of economic growth were unequally shared” which only adds to make May look like a stronger individual. Conversely, the article only reports negatively about Leadsom using Lord Cormack and Sir Eric Pickles to deligitimise her as a candidate against the wonderous May.
Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/
Reviewed by: Alice Edwards