Thursday, 8th September 2016

The Sun1

Topic of article: Domestic Affairs

Headline: Wad a Moron

Authors: Paul Sims

Aim of the article: Reporting on the ‘PR disaster’ the owner of Sports Direct made, after being accused of underpaying his staff. 

Agenda of the article: It is clear that this article wants to highlight the wealth gap between the owner of Sports Direct, and his staff at the Sports Direct warehouse. This article has made front page news due to allegations made against Mike Ashley that his staff  at a Sports Direct warehouse were being underpaid. The story reports on the error of Mike Ashley having a “wad of cash” within his wallet and being photographed with it, whilst attempting to recover Sports Direct’s reputation by inviting the press to the factory. 

Bias of the article: It is clear that The Sun believes highlighting the amount of cash that Mike Ashley had that day does more justice to allegations of him underpaying his staff. Either that or they just believe that it is a salacious story which will draw attention. The article makes no effort to seek a statement about why Ashley had all the cash, nor to give background information to the readers regarding when, how and why Mike Ashley was accused of underpaying his staff. No supporting statements from Mike Ashley was used for this story, nor from staff of the factory.

The Guardian2.jpg

Topic of article: Politics, Education

Headline: Grammar schools expansion risks Disaster, May is warned.

Authors: Anushka Asthana (Political Editor) 

Aim of the article: The article reports on concerns over Theresa May’s alleged plans to lift the ban on creating more Grammer schools within the UK. 

Agenda of the article: This article points to the devastating impact that increasing Grammar schools would have on social mobility in terms of accentuating inequality. It mostly concentrates on Alan Milburn’s thoughts regarding the alleged plan, who is chair of the social mobility commission, yet is also the former Labour cabinet minister. The article points to the alleged plans as symptomatic of a further deepening of social inequality taking place within the UK, in which the North is left behind, and feeling increasingly resentful. The article points out that better efforts should be spent on improving the state schools which currently exist. Crucially though, the article most strongly points to the elitist nature of Grammar schools, noting that they tend to pool in students from more privileged backgrounds rather than being a fair system for accepting any student regardless of background, as is widely believed by proponents. 

Bias of the article: Although I really do agree with the sentiment that Grammar Schools deepen social inequality, and is symptomatic of a socially segregated society, the article is heavily biased. It provides no counter-arguments for why some believe increasing grammar schools is a good thing for education. Additionally, the only source used within the article is an ex-Labour minister who is likely ideologically to be more opposed to grammar schools. Despite this though, it is highly important that the writer made use of such an experienced source who specialises in social mobility and inequality. 

The Daily Mail: 3.jpg

Topic of article: Health

Headline: NHS fails over half Dementia patients

Authors: Ben Spencer (Medical Correspondent) 

Aim of the article: The article reports on less than satisfactory review results for NHS services, particularly in reference to patients with Dementia.

Agenda of the article: The article asserts that Dementia patients, among others are particularly hit hard by an ineffective NHS. The article informs that this rating is based mostly on the absence of required yearly reviews for Dementia patient. The article doesn’t highlight any positive scores regarding the NHS and its services. 

Bias of the article: The article is irresponsible. It does not note any improvement of NHS services from previous years, nor does it aim to provide balance in account of explaining why services for dementia patients is particularly low. Tory cuts to the NHS  is probably a big explanation for the low scores. Instead, the NHS is just portrayed as something 

The Times: 4.jpg

 

Topic of article: Politics, Domestic Affairs

Headline: MPs to leave Parliament in £4bn restoration plan

Authors: Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor), Georgie Keate

Aim of the article: The article reports on the restoration plans for Parliament

Agenda of the article: The article provides an uncritical reporting of the restoration plan for Parliament, in which a report recommends that if MPs move out of Parliament whilst Parliament is being resolved, the cost will be £4bn. This is contrasted to £7.1 bn if MPs remained in the building. The article clearly approves of this restoration plan, making effort to showcase that Parliament is a listed building, with special UNESCO world heritage status, whilst stating that the restoration of Parliament was overwhelmingly decided by MPs as necessary. Weirdly, the article states that the building work will be mostly done with materials sourced from the UK, whilst stating that this would not have been done if the UK was within the EU.  

Bias of the article:  The article is very uncritical and strangely attempts to prove these plans as economically viable particularly in the context of the UK leaving the EU. Firstly, the figure of £4bn for the restoration of Parliament is dubious, and likely to increase. This was the case for building the Olympic stadium, and the High Speed 2. The article doesn’t mention this possibility. Additionally, the article weirdly seems to promote the notion that the restoration, if occurred under the EU, would be required to not used materials sources from the UK. This is a very out of the blue accusation, the EU does not have legislation over how the UK sources its materials for restoration projects. Largely, the article doesn’t question whether a costly restoration plan, at a time where the UK is facing large economic uncertainty as it leaves the EU is a good move by government, which attends to the real needs of citizens. 

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

 

Reviewed by: Albana Aruqaj

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