Thursday 4th August 2016

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

The Sun1

Topic of article: Entertainment

Headline: Mum won £61 million… and I’m not getting any!

Authors: Rachel Dale

Aim of the article: The article reports on the son of lottery winner, Ms Davies, being outraged that he has not been given any money by his mother. 

Agenda of the article: It is clear that The Sun aims to create a scandalous impression whilst representing Ms Davies and her relationship with her son. The family discussed is being reported on due to Ms Davies’ lucky win of the lottery, other than that the public has no knowledge of this family. However it is interesting that the intent by the paper is to portray the mother’s win not in a positive nor congratulatory light, but with gossip driven accusations that the mother is somehow a bad person for not giving her estranged son money. This calls into question whether the mother has a duty in the first place to give some of her lottery money to her adult son, and whether it is right for The Sun to promote that expectation on the private family so publicly, particularly when it has no real knowledge of the internal dynamics of the family. 

Bias of the article: The story is mostly speculative. Although the article does provide some quotes from the son, the quotes seem to be taken out of context and never state that the son expects a share of the lottery winnings, or is even upset at his mother. Simply, the assertion that he has not seen his mother in a long time is enough for the article to speculate that he has been “cut off”.  Sadly, there is no effort by this article to balance its story as it fails to represent Ms Davies side, by failing to represent her own statements regarding the matter. 

The Guardian2

Topic of article: Politics, Domestic Politics

Headline: Labour on edge of a split that would finish the party, says Smith.

Authors: Rowena Mason

Aim of the article: The article reports on Owen Smith’s statements regarding the future of the Labour party if Corbyn is reelected. 

Agenda of the article: It is clear within this piece that Owen Smith’s statements regarding Corbyn as future leader is given much attention to by The Guardian. The statements argue that Corbyn’s reelection could involve a party split. The article notes how the split could also lower the chance of Labour’s future electability. In all, the focus on Smith’s statements make it clear that the paper is also worried about the future of the Labour party, particularly after the boundary review and under Corbyn’s leadership. The split of the party is portrayed as as a very possible future, which would have catastrophic consequences for the future of the party.   

Bias of the article: The article does a good job to represent the views of Smith. Although it makes an attempt at providing balanced reporting by noting both Smith’s and Corbyn’s pledges, the article fails to acknowledge that Smith’s assumption that his appointment as Labour leader would stop a party split may be naive. Lastly, there is no delving into the debate of whether Labour in the next 10 or 20 years is able to be electable as a one party government, as it may have to rely on coalitions of smaller parties for future governance. Perhaps a party split could be beneficial for this direction? This would counter the view portrayed in the piece that a party split under Corbyn could spell the end for a left government. 

The Daily Mail3

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: Toxic honours noone wants 

Author(s): Daniel Martin and Richard Marsdon

Aim of the article: The article reports on individual’s unwillingness to be associated with David Cameron’s honours list. 

Agenda of the article: It is clear that the intent is to demonstrate how ‘dodgy’ the honours list is by providing details of notable figures who have rejected being considered for an OBE. The article suggest that Ian Taylor’s withdrawal from consideration supports the Mail’s outrage at the OBE list, as one which is not following correct protocol. The article goes on to suggest that it is Cameron’s “personal aides, cronies and  donors” which have all been recommended for an OBE. 

Bias of the article: It is clear that the agenda of the Mail’s article is largely supported by Ian Taylor’s withdrawal from being considered for an OBE. However, no evidence nor explanation for why Taylor has withdrawn has been provided, this could have easily been done if the Mail had reached out for comments. Additionally, there is no mention of what the individuals who have been selected for an OBE may have done to be awarded, leaving to the reader the assumption that simply, their closeness to David Cameron has warranted an OBE. 

The Times4.jpg

Topic of article: Domestic Affairs

Headline: Anger at inquiry judges absence

Authors: Sean O’Neill (Chief Reporter)

Aim of the article: The article reports on the head of the Child Sex Inquiry being abroad for three months.

Agenda of the article: The story reports on Dame Cowell Goddard (the head of the independent child sex abuse inquiry) being in New Zealand and Australia for three months, as the inquiry is taking place. The article clearly seeks to provoke outrage among readers, noting her high salary and absence for a considerable amount of time. However, Goddard is a lawyer in New Zealand as well as heading the UK’s child abuse inquiry,  and so it is not unreasonable to be in New Zealand, and may be continuing her work with the inquiry there, as hearing evidence in Court has not commenced yet. 

Bias of the article: The article has taken efforts to represent Goddard’s justification for her absence, including information that she was working closely with the Australian royal commission on child abuse to learn from their experiences, whilst in Australia. The article however, calls into question her competency regarding her role as chair of the inquiry, additionally portraying her high salary in order to spark outrage at her absence. Therefore, this article renders on the more negative side. 

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

Reviewed by: Albana Aruqaj

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