Thursday 18th August 2016

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

The Sun1.jpg

Topic of article: Sport

Headline: They don’t bike it up ’em

Authors: Nick Parker, James Beal

Aim of the article: The paper reports on the surprise at Britain’s triumph at cycling within the Olympics.

Agenda of the article: The article suggests that the British Cycling team was accused by other cycling competitors of cheating. The article makes note of the surprise by other cyclists regarding how well the British team are doing this year within cycling at the Rio games, and goes on further to suggest that it’s just “sour grapes’. The statements by other cyclists regarding Britain’s success with cycling could be interpreted as good-natured and curious. However, The Sun makes it obvious that they believe these statements as bitter and accusatory. The Sun does it’s all to capitalize on the competitive spirit of the Olympic games as another opportunity to emphasise a ‘Britain against the world’ mentality. 

Bias of the article: The writers suggest that the British Olympic team is being accused of cheating by several other competitors. However there is no evidence to support that claim. Although the article does quote their statements, none of their statements state that they are concerned about cheating. Rather, they merely suggest surprise at the amount of wins by the British team alone. 

The Guardian2.jpg

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: Tory report on Bullying branded a whitewash

Authors: Jamie Grierson

Aim of the article: The article reports on the disappointment of  Elliot Johnson’s family, after receiving the findings from a report regarding bullying of Conservative activists. 

Agenda of the article: The writer clearly points out the suspicious nature of the investigation into bullying by Mark Clarke former Conservative parliamentary candidate, insinuating that the investigation’s non-independence has tainted it findings. The article lets readers know that the findings of the investigation which looked into accusations of bullying after the suicide of Elliot Johnson came out as mostly mixed. Noting the evidence of an awareness of bullying from prominent figures however,  the investigation concluded that the Mark Clarke could not be accused of any responsibility regarding Johnson’s suicide. Johnson’s fathers side of the story is reported, as readers see his disappointment and disbelief at the Conservative Party’s failure to acknowledge any wrong doing. 

Bias of the article: The article sources evidence from the investigation and so it’s assertions that several members voiced concerns regarding bullying are backed up. It also notes that there were other members who accused Marke Clarke of bullying. this obviously provides evidence of the possibility of a whitewashing of the investigation. However, the article follows journalist protocol by providing information of the evidence relied on within the investigation to find it’s conclusions. 

The Daily Mail3.jpg

Topic of article: Crime

Headline: A crime of pure evil

Author(s): Jim Norton, Liz Hull, James Tozer, Chris Brooke

Aim of the article: The paper reports on a murder, emphasizing the motive as involving a love triangle 

Agenda of the article: The article sensationalises a murder case by focusing its story mostly on the murder’s motive and her background. It is obvious that the article chooses to portray the woman charged with murder as jealous and vengeful, dubbing her a “bunny boiler” and “she-devil”. The sexist undertone of the article is very clear, reporting on the convicted woman’s sexual past, even though her sexual past has little to do with the murder case specifically. The notion of a love triangle and this as the woman’s motive for murdering Sadie Hurtley is also clear within the article. All in all, the story does a lot to dramatize the quite horrific murder, and further vilify the murder in a sexist way; which would not apply to a male convicted of murder. 

Bias of the article: The article uses terms such as “bunny-boiler” which really just provides readers with a view that the killer was irrational, heightening stereotypes already put in place about women and relationships. Additionally, the constant reference to the killer’s sexuality (in terms of her sexual jealousy and sexual past) in order to sensationalise a very disturbing murder is disappointing as the article clearly tries to reinforce sexist notions of female killers, rather than report the news in a balanced way.

The Times4.jpg

Topic of article: Politics, Health

Headline: May rips up plans for junk-food crackdown

Authors: Chris Smyth 

Aim of the article: The article reports on May’s Childhood Obesity strategy

Agenda of the article: The article suggests that May’s Childhood Obesity strategy, is weak and underwhelming, prioritizing the economy growing concerns of childhood obesity within the UK. Noting that May has overruled the health secretary’s recommendations, the Times makes it a point that lobbyists have rejected the calls for greater restrictions on advertising aimed at children, arguing it could reduce jobs. This leads to questions regarding what the role of lobbyists is for May’s decision. It is clear that the article views May’s decision to not be assertive in dealing with advertisements and not ensuring that 60 mins of exercise in primary schools is mandatory as disappointing and one which cares about the economy more than the well-being of children.

Bias of the article: For the most part, the article is well sourced, particularly in noting the widespread disappointment regarding the strategy; citing from the Health Select Committee. However, there has been no evidence supplied within the article to suggest that it is particularly economic motivations for why May has been so lax within the document, apart from the role of lobbyists in potentially swaying this view. It would have been great for the reader to note how much obesity related illness cost the NHS in order to decipher whether May’ decision is a practical decision, or purely ideologically motivated. 


Front page images from:

Reviewed by: Albana Aruqaj



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