Monday 19th September 2016
Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Armed Forces
Headline: Hell for heroes
Authors: Robin Perrie (News Reporter)
Aim of the article: The article briefly describes the situation for six British soldiers who have been in a prison in Chennai since January on charges for importing weapons for jihadis.
Agenda of the article: The article wholly supports the “plea” of the soldiers to be freed and uses emotive language such as “abandoned by Britain”, “rotting in jail” and describes one officer reporting “we’d have fallen apart” if it weren’t for their military training. The article describes the six as protecting ships from Somali pirates and only holding “legally held” weapons when they were accused by Indian officials. Generally it seems the paper supports the suggestion that they have been wrongfully imprisoned and supports their “rescue” however that may occur.
Bias of the article: The paper gives very little detail about the charges the Indian Authorities have accused the six men, the other side of the accusation or why it has taken so long for this issue to be concluded. There is also suggestion that the Indian authorities are incompetent as the paper states as fact that they are in prison for “a crime they did not commit.” The emotive nature of the article and it’s central image give a purely one-sided view of the issue and the only quotes are from those imprisoned.
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: Rebel MPs face the axe, warn Corbyn allies
Authors: Heather Stewart (Joint Political Editor) and Jessica Elgot (Political Reporter)
Aim of the article: The article discusses the issue of deselection of Labour Party MPs in the context of Jeremy Corbyn winning the leadership contest for the second time.
Agenda of the article: The article effectively describes and embodies a lack of unity within the Labour Party. It does this by providing multiple sources from those both supporting and opposing Corbyn, all of which have a different point of view which illustrates the key “disconnect” between what Corbyn says and what his supporters may say. On the key topic of how non-Corbynite MPs will fare after the election, the paper presents a divide between those who argue it is a “democratic choice for members” to “reflect the views of the party” versus the “threat of deselection” which Corbyn denies. There are also descriptions of proposals for changes to Labour Party democracy including trigger ballots and giving members more control over shadow cabinet.
Bias of the article: The article presents an image of a party with many fractures, from the Corbyn camp there is moderate Clive Lewis and far less moderate Len McCluskey, Margaret Beckett is recruited to highlight the potential separation between Corbyn supporters and himself. Finally, Owen Smith, unsurprisingly, and Tom Watson are called in to question Corbyn’s proposals regarding increasing members control. Generally the article attempts to present both sides though suggests caution and a tumultuous time ahead, including Lewis referring back to the “bloodletting” of the 70s and 80s.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Armed Forces
Headline: Will he ever get justice?
Author(s): Sam Greenhill (News Reporter), Richard Pendlebury (News Reporter)
Aim of the article: This is a continuation of the newspaper’s tireless fight for justice for those working in the armed forces who are wrongly brought to criminal court for “incidents in the line of duty.”
Agenda of the article: The piece is a follow-up on Sergeant Alexander Blackman who the paper’s readers raised £800,000 for in order to help him challenge his life sentence due to “murder on a foreign battlefield”. The article uses language to strongly suggest that the vast majority of British service personnel who face the prospect of criminal charges are being unjustly persecuted by “ambulance-chasing lawyers” and “bureaucrats.” The article wants the readers to be enraged at the “disgraceful delays” which Sergeant Blackman is “enduring” waiting for a possible Criminal Cases Review Commission following his lawyer’s finding new evidence.
Bias of the article: Effectively, The Daily Mail loves the armed forces and thinks it pretty abhorrent that criminal cases would be brought against service personnel who have fought for the country, based on their actions whilst on duty. There is a direct implication that people in the armed forces, just based on that fact, are unlikely to be criminals and are more likely to be innocent, in contrast to anyone else who has been through the criminal justice system. There is no representation of those who are on the other side of the criminal cases and some implication in “The Royal Marine jailed for killing a Taliban fighter” that the paper feels the Sergeant’s actions were justified.
Topic of article: Police; International
Headline: Triple strike puts US on terror alert for summit
Authors: Rhys Blakely (Washington Reporter), Will Pavia (New York Reporter), Francis Elliott (Political Editor)
Aim of the article: The article describes the implications of three separate attacks in the United States over the weekend including on the UN General Assembly and the Presidential election taking place in 49 days.
Agenda of the article: This article is mostly factual, focusing on the facts of when and where the attacks happened, how many people were injured and how many National Guard and police will now be part of the security in New York. In addition there is also the use of the word “terror” regularly in the article, including the New York governor describing the New York bomb blasts as “an act of terror.” However it is also noteworthy that only the stabbings in Minnesota have been claimed by Islamic State at the time of print, whereas the general sense of the article is that the New York attacks are likely to have been also carried out by those representing Islamic State which there is no cited evidence for. There is also a fair amount of discussion of British Prime Minister May’s trip to the UN assembly and her message for “other countries to step up their counter-terrorism efforts.”
Bias of the article: The article mostly quotes other newspaper articles or short statements from relevant politicians such as Bill de Blasio, New York City mayor, and from Islamic State. There aren’t any representation of any victims however there was emotive imagery used other than in the final paragraph of “victims posted pictures of metal shrapnel embedded in flesh.” More interestingly the YouGov poll run by the newspaper describing Trump as preferred by US voters to “keep the US safe from terrorism” and further description of the “two candidates in a near tie” indicates The Times future coverage of the US election is looming.
Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/
Reviewed by: Alice Edwards