Monday 3rd October 2016

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

The Sunsun-750

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: March to Freedom

Authors: Tom Newton Dunn

Aim of the article: The top story of the day: at the Conservative conference Theresa May says she will trigger Article 50 by March 2017, providing a “date for our independence” as 31st March 2019.

Agenda of the article: A long march to freedom the newspaper may well feel it has been, being one of few papers giving support to Brexit, it has now been vindicated and is clearly proud of that. They describe May saying “ignore the pessimists and go out into the world” indicating the paper feels that EU limits “our independence” as a state and now there is a timeline for when, I assume, we will obtain this ultimate achievement.

Bias of the article: The article is supportive of this date being set, and the general concept of May’s version of Brexit, however it does give up column inches to describe EU council president Tusk “warning” of the EU “engaging to safe-guard its interests” suggesting the sense of a battle not yet won by May. There is no further detail of the speech or May’s vision for Brexit included except from the date itself which is the focus of the article.

The Guardianguardian-750

Topic of article:  Politics

Headline: May focuses on ‘hard Brexit’

Authors: Anushka Asthana (Political Editor), Jon Henley (European Affairs Correspondent)

Aim of the article: The article reports Prime Minister Theresa May outlining her plans for Britain leaving the European Union at the Conservative Party conference.

Agenda of the article: Too hard? Too soft? Just right? Well The Guardian tells us May has decided to make her stance clear on the first day of her party conference on her form of Brexit. It appears that leaving the European law and immigration control are her main focus and “trump any attempt to remain a member of the single market.” The article is critical of this form of Brexit, including undermining her intention to guarantee workers’ rights saying “the government would not list any examples of such legislation” and highlights that she has put herself on a “collision course with pro-EU backbenchers.”

Bias of the article: The article quotes only from May’s speech and from head of European council Donald Tusk and future EU president Joseph Muscat, who both have negative but measured points to make about the plans. This includes Tusk’s ominous “EU27 will engage to safeguard its interest” outlining the sense of them and us which was emphasised in Brexit campaigns and now appears to have been crystallised by the “hard” Brexit stance. This mood is emphasised throughout the article also using quotes such as “ “great repeal bill”” where European laws can be “unpicked.”  There are no quotes from others supporting May on this front page or from those who would be affected by triggering Article 50 by March such as business leaders.

 The Daily Maildaily_mail-750

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: This lady’s not for turning!

Author(s): James Slack (Political Editor)

Aim of the article: Continuing with the story of the day the paper reports the Prime Minister’s speech on her intentions for Brexit.

Agenda of the article: The headline pretty much sums up the article: May is determined “lady” who describes her opposition as “pessimists” who try to “‘subvert democracy’” by going against the “will of the people” as they want to stay “shackled to the EU”. Their portrayal of ‘hard’ Brexit is to “restore control over Britain’s borders”, “end free movement of EU workers, determine its own laws and become a global trade giant.” There is the idea that this is the “full-blooded Brexit” which should not be watered down and May is the person to deliver this.

Bias of the article: The article does indicate that May’s plans are not supported by everyone; including “some of her senior MPs” however the article disregards these as “bitter Remainers” in contrast to the “will of the people.” There is a deep sense of Brexit permitting a return to sovereignty and being independent with “our weight is substantial enough already.” There are not quotes except from May and no balanced representation of any other opinion except support for her plans.


The Timesthe_times-750

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: EU leaders reject May over ‘hard’ Brexit talks

Authors: Francis Elliott (Political Editor), David Charter (Berlin Correspondent)

Aim of the article: Surprise surprise, the article also covers May’s ‘hard’ Brexit, this time focussing on criticism of this from European leaders.

Agenda of the article: The Times is highly critical of May’s ‘hard Brexit’ which it defines as “rejecting privileged access to the EU single market in return for submitting to some EU laws and institutions.” The article goes as far as to bullet-point negatives within government, such as David Davis disregarding “75,000 City jobs” that may be lost. The article makes May and her government seem inadequately prepared and “under pressure” from numerous sources and, moreover, emphasises a sense that Britain are in a poor financial situation from the outset with Hammond starting a “renewed austerity drive.” The authors contrast May clearly wanting “preparatory work” to ease the transition with both Tusk and Merkel dismissing that idea which in turn “heightens fear of a disorderly exit from the bloc.”

Bias of the article: This article appears to be generally one-sided, with each description of May’s intention followed with some criticism. The only support for the Brexiteers view point is a backhanded noting that they “accused pro-Remain campaigners of attempting to “subvert democracy.”” There are no direct quotes from Tusk or Merkel so the authors paraphrase their interpretation, notably far less reserved than The Guardian’s portrayal of Tusk. There is a total lack of inclusion of any reasoning or benefits of a ‘hard’ Brexit or any alternatives.

Front page images from:

Reviewed by: Alice Edwards



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