Thursday 21st July 2016

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

The Sun1

Topic of article: Sport

Headline: They think it’s Allardyce… it is now.

Authors:  Phil Cadden

Aim of the article: The article discusses England football team’s new manager.

Agenda of the article: The article intends to report on the new manager for the England football team, Sam Allardyce. It is noted that he is appointed after England had failed to get to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Euro Championship league. The article portrays a mostly positive picture of the new England manager, with an image of Allardyce celebrating.

Bias of the article: The article is mainly aiming to report the facts surrounding the new direction of the England football team. It should be noted that this article is barely critical, and could be viewed as a light-hearted and perhaps even mostly positive.

The Guardian2

Topic of article: Domestic Affairs, Crime.

Headline: HMRC widens inquiry into Sports Direct

Authors: Simon Goodley

Aim of the article: The article reports on the widening investigation into Sports Direct’s failure to pay workers the minimum wage.

Agenda of the article: The article aims to follow up on developments into the official HMRC investigation into Sports Direct. The article notes that the official investigation comes after the Guardian had conducted their own investigation last year into the practice of workers receiving less than legal rates. Within the article, it is clear that there is an intent to demonstrate how Sports Direct have underpaid their staff, and how this was a more commonplace practice which was not only limited to warehouse workers, but also their retail workers.

Bias of the article: The article quotes from the Parliamentary inquiry into Sports Direct in order to provide evidence regarding the staff at Sports Direct being underpaid. It particularly notes that the founder of Sports Direct had admitted to HMRC that it did not pay minimum wage to their warehouse employees.  The article additionally provides details of The Guardian’s own investigation last year into the company. The article therefore seems very well sourced. Although there are several quotes by unnamed workers for Sports Direct to further the article’s agenda, it is permissible that these sources require to be unnamed as they could lose their jobs and this does not do much to undermine the credibility of the article.

The Daily Mail3

Topic of article: Crime, Economics.

Headline: UK Banker charged over £2.7 Billion Currency Rigging.

Author(s): James Burton

Aim of the article: The article reports on a former employee of HSBC being charged with fraud.

Agenda of the article: The article aims to shed light on an extreme case of alleged fraud by an individual currency trader, Mark Johnson, who worked for HSBC until 2014. The article notes that Mark Johnson was arrested whilst attempting to board a flight at JFK airport. The article alleges that the fraud was targeted at a client of HSBC and reports that this enabled Mark Johnson and HSBC to gain a profit of £6million. However, the article does not clearly communicate that an individual ex-employee of HSBC, rather than HSBC the company itself has been charged with fraud, labelling the employee as a “HSBC executive”.  It is clear that article aims to demonstrate that this fraud is one that implicates HSBC, particularly when it claims the HSBC was “not tipped off about the arrest”.

Bias of the article: The article provides enough evidence to confirm its reports that Mark Johnson was arrested for fraud and that this fraud benefited him and HSBC. This evidence comes in the form of a quote from the US Justice Department. However, it is clear that the article aims to demonstrate that this fraud implicates HSBC, and whilst this is not untrue, the article seems to promote the view that HSBC may also be guilty. This is despite the fact that the FBI has not charged HSBC with any wrongdoing. Additionally, Mark Johnson is no longer an employee of HSBC, yet the article states that he is. Therefore, the article should have made more of an effort to distinguish that although HSBC has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing yet, this does cast doubt as to how ethical and legitimate HSBC may be.

The Times4

Topic of article: Health

Headline: Doctor’s warn everyone to take Vitamin D Pills

Authors: Katie Gibbons

Aim of the article: The article aims to report on new national guidelines regarding  Vitamin D deficiency.

Agenda of the article: The article suggests that many people within the UK are increasingly becoming deficient in Vitamin D and this is of great concern to doctors. To affirm this,  the article lists the many health implications of Vitamin D deficiency, including osteoporosis and rickets, whilst claiming that the case of rickets has increased. Additionally, it suggested that what may have contributed to the rise in deficiency among the UK population is mostly lifestyle factors, including using sunscreen, staying mostly indoors and not getting enough vitamin D in diets. However, to give the impression of balanced reporting the article also suggests that the new national guidelines regarding Vitamin D and the promotion of Vitamin D supplements has been criticised as inefficient, and there has been suggestions that the best source of Vitamin D is the sun.

Bias of the article: The article reports on new national guidelines but does not give any information regarding which body has provided the guidelines. With further research it is clear that the article is reporting on NICE’s guidelines.The article suggests that Vitamin D deficiency is a widespread concern. This is not the case. The guidelines promoted by NICE is for “at risk groups” including children under 5, people with darker skin and over 65 year old’s. Therefore, the recommendation for vitamin D supplements covers only specific groups of people. The article exaggerates and misinforms the readers regarding the extent to which vitamin D deficiency is a problem.

Front page images from:

Reviewed by: Albana Aruqaj


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