Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Sport, popular culture
Headline: Phil ‘The Poorer’
Author: Tom Wells (Home Affairs Correspondent)
Aim of the article: This headline is detailing the divorce settlement between world darts champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor and his now ex-wife.
Agenda of the article: The article highlights how little Phil Taylor has retained after his divorce, thus having his title changed from ‘The Power’ to ‘The Poorer’. The article’s primary function is to emphasise the fall that Taylor has experienced, the main cause being his ex-wife who now owns several of his assets.
Bias of the article: The obvious bias in this article is towards Taylor, who is depicted as the loser in the divorce battle. There is no attempt to explore both sides of the story to find out why this was ordered by the court – for there may have been good reason. Additionally the article seems to suggest that Taylor is now grossly poor, however it is possible that the wealth that has been awarded to his ex-wife is only the tip of the iceberg; he may have ten other houses that he gets to keep.
Topic of article: Health
Headline: Mental illness soars in young women
Authors: Denis Campbell (Health Policy Editor), Haroon Siddique (Reporter)
Aim of the article: To inform the reader of the apparent increase of mental health illness in young people, with a particular focus on women aged 16-24.
Agenda of the article: This article is largely written to shock the reader, as it describes mental illness as ‘soaring’, indicating an uncontrollable issue. Mental health is a topic that is increasingly in the limelight, which is why this story has made the front page. The suggestion that this type of illness is increasing will be worrying to many, particularly because of the long term effects the increase could have upon huge numbers of the population.
Bias of the article: The article is largely balanced in its approach and even admits that the statistics may not be completely reliable due to small sample groups. However, much of the focus is on young women, therefore the article could have looked at mental illness for those not identifying as female or those above 24 years old. The article could also have explored the ways in which health services are attempting to combat a possible rise in mental illness.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Politics, international affairs
Headline: At Last! A Bishop Who Talks Sense on Migrants
Authors: Tammy Hughes (News Reporter), Daniel Martin (Chief Political Correspondent)
Aim of the article: This report is praising the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, for speaking out on the issue of immigration. The article centres around Sentamu’s warning that Britain should not be seen as a ‘soft touch’.
Agenda of the article: The report focuses largely on the issue of tighter border controls and the suggestion that other European countries are not pulling their weight in terms of migrant resettlement. This newspaper however, is evidently more concerned with the politics of immigration rather than the suffering of refugees. This is shown through the use of the word ‘migrants’ in the headline, which is used to describe the very same people the report also calls ‘asylum seekers’. The definitions of these terms are vastly different, however the report still appears to class them as the same.
Bias of the article: This report is rather biased against the free movement of asylum seekers and migrants and is also against the idea of too much resettlement occurring in the UK. To broaden its perspective this report could have looked at the difficulties that other European countries have in dealing with such large influxes of people. It could also have explored the experiences of migrants and asylum seekers in being a part of resettlement programmes and how they felt it worked best on a personal level.
Topic of article: Health
Headline: Restaurants ordered to reduce size of puddings
Author: Chris Smyth (Health Editor)
Aim of the article: This article discusses Jeremy Hunt’s pledge to encourage restaurants to either reduce the size of their unhealthy food options, or reduce the number of calories in each portion.
Agenda of the article: This article attempts to convince the reader of the need for government control over restaurant food. Portion and calorie control is the government’s way of controlling obesity, particularly amongst children who are taken to eat out regularly, meaning “going out to eat is no longer a treat”. The article portrays food outlets negatively and as being one of the contributing factors towards growing obesity levels.
Bias of the article: This article is largely supportive of Jeremy Hunt’s attempts to cut obesity levels, however what the article fails to recognise is the detrimental effect this could have upon businesses. Reducing portion size in particular may mean people are less inclined to pay money for what they might feel is not enough food. It could also be argued that customers have a right to choose the type of food they want to eat, why should the government have an influence over it?
Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/
Reviewed by: India Edwards