Wednesday 4th October 2016

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

The Sunsun

Topic of article: Celebrity, Crime

Headline: Wild West

Authors: James Beal (US reporter)

Aim of the article: To report on the reaction within Kim Kardashian’s inner circle to the armed robbery she experienced two days ago

Agenda of the article: The article presents Kanye West as a cowboy-esque character, angry and ready to ‘track down (the) raiders’, while this is amusing juxtaposed with Kim’s minder (bodyguard) who comes across much more menacingly, saying ‘we will make them suffer’. West is pictured wearing a tailored suit and looking wistfully towards the cameras, while the minder is stalking along behind, muscles bulging and angrily looking away from the camera. Perhaps written to ensure readers that Kim has the protection of two very powerful men, this will ease those who worry that perhaps justice will not be served on those who robbed the Kardashian. The large amount of interest generated by the robbery in the public will also ensure that the paper will sell well when seen on store fronts.

Bias of the article: There is no mention of police work being done on the robbery, but it does include comments from both Kanye and the Minder, ensuring both of their opinions are represented.

The Guardianguardian

Topic of article: Politics, Brexit

Headline: May calls on Tories to seize centre ground

Authors: Anushka Asthana (Political Editor), Rowena Mason (political Correspondent)

Aim of the article: To report on the upcoming speech to be given by the Prime Minister Theresa May on the final day of the Conservative party conference and detail some of the new policies that have been laid out so far

Agenda of the article: This article is perhaps more interesting for what it doesn’t contain, rather than what it does. While it is a perfectly serviceable announcement of what the conservatives are doing or saying next, there is no time given to an analysis of the possible effects of these policies, or of any of the current disagreements between party ministers regarding plans for grammar schools or for the implementation of Brexit. Rather the article still manages to fit in something about how Labour is involved with its own ‘infighting’ before comparing May to Thatcher (you decide if that’s a compliment of not…) Unfortunately it seems that the media’s agenda has too often been to give the Conservatives an easy ride when announcing their policies and to fall in line with their arguments that Brexit necessitates such xenophobic and isolationist policies as are being proposed currently within the ruling party.

Bias of the article: There are no interviews with members of opposing parties to give some context to the policies, while conservative ministers are given ample air time over the course of the article, making this a rather one sided affair.

The Daily Mailmail

Topic of article: Politics, Brexit

Headline: May savages liberal elite

Author(s): James Slack (Political Editor)

Aim of the article: To report on the upcoming speech by Theresa May and her comments about the ‘Liberal Elite’

Agenda of the article: The headline of the article uses the triumphant language of ‘savages’, a word commonly attributed to either rabid animals or a particularly effective performance by a sports team or overzealous commentator, to describe the effect of May’s upcoming speech regarding the ‘Liberal Elite’ and the public. In their opinion this speech is so good that it will leave the opposition reeling and unable to respond, having been so effectively ‘beaten’ by the unassailable logic of May. They offer a quote meant to illustrate this attack on the liberal elite, yet nowhere does it mention this shadowy group, but rather the politicians who spoke against Brexit (Theresa May, cough cough). The public who read the newspaper is meant to read the degrading analysis of their concerns, as quoted by May, and be aware that those who oppose the law of Brexit (and by proxy the public) are obviously Liberal Elites whos only concern is their personal gain.

Bias of the article: There is little analysis of the pros and cons of the Brexit vote, or of some of the more technical aspects of May’s speech. While the PM is quoted extensively, members of opposing parties are not represented here. This is an article heavily leaning to one side of the Brexit discussion.

The Timesthe-times

Topic of article: Immigration, Refugees

Headline: Desperate battle for life on the Mediterranean

Authors: Bel Trew (Middle East Journalist)

Aim of the article: To inform readers of the ongoing plight that migrants face when crossing the Mediterranean

Agenda of the article: The article starts with a graphic description of a young pregnant female, pulled from the water of the Mediterranean, who is suffering and passing away in front of the writer. As she coughs up blood and seems to stare ‘wide-eyed’ at the reader it is as if you are being asked ‘could you confront this and not feeling immediately vulnerable, afraid with her and sympathetic to the cause of every migrant crossing the water?’ It is a very effective method for both engaging the reader and for making the plight of migrants feel very personal to a British reader. Accompanied with a picture of a struggling man being pulled from the water, this article serves to both reminding people that these terrible hardships that we were told about for people crossing the Mediterranean still exist, despite Theresa May’s dehumanisation of them and the lack of media coverage, and to hopefully make the reader sympathise with these migrants as other human beings.

Bias of the article: The main body of the writing is given to story telling and description of events, leaving little space for an analysis of facts. There are some statistics quoted which are referenced to the Italian coastguard but no interviews with coastguards or anyone else who would offer another or complimentary view to the scenes described.

Front page images from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers

Reviewed by: Sam Hewitt

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