Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Popular culture, Environment
Headline: It’s all gone a bit King Kong
Author: Patrick Gysin (Reporter)
Aim of the article: To inform the reader about an incident in which a gorilla escaped its enclosure at London zoo.
Agenda of the article: In order to make this story front-page worthy, the paper has significantly dramatised the incident in order to make it more appealing to the reader. The phrase ‘King Kong’ immediately draws your attention, along with the descriptions of the gorilla as a “Raging 7ft gorilla” and a “29st beast”. The paper then quotes a zoo worker as saying “He’s a f*****g psycho, that ape.”, this explicit language adds to the dramatic effect of this story.
Bias of the article: One aspect of this story the paper fails to recognise is the perspective of the potentially frightened animal that happened to escape its enclosure. The article seems to suggest the escape was carried out by a ‘horrific beast’ whose visitors were left “terrified” in its wake. The paper is more concerned with dramatising the story for its own benefit than responsibly reporting on a story in which a gorilla simply escaped its enclosure.
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: Obama piles pressure on ‘cruel’ Trump
Authors: Dan Roberts (Washington Bureau Chief), Ben Jacobs (Political Reporter)
Aim of the article: This article discusses the ongoing attacks on US presidential candidate Donald Trump. In particular the article focuses on a speech Michelle Obama made recently, in which she addresses the allegations of inappropriate behaviour from Trump against numerous women.
Agenda of the article: This triumphalist article heralds Michelle Obama as a bastion of hope and reason for attacking Trump. It takes pains to highlight how she lambasted his disgracefully misogynistic behaviour. The Guardian aims to add further nails to the coffin of Trump’s presidential campaign; he is clearly an unreasonable and intolerable man who hits back at his opponent, Hilary Clinton, by branding her as slanderous.
Bias of the article: Although obviously not favourable towards Trump, a wide range of women are quoted on Trump’s actions; he is described as an ‘octopus’ who rams his tongue down women’s throats. This gives credence to the article which is heavily based on first-hand accounts of women who have encountered him.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: MPs Vote on Sir Shifty’s Gong
Author: Daniel Martin (Chief Political Correspondent)
Aim of the article: To inform the reader of a vote that will take place on whether the former BHS boss Sir Philip Green should be stripped of his knighthood. This would be the first time parliament has held such a vote.
Agenda of the article: The Daily Mail is clearly trying to stir a groundswell of ill-feeling towards Sir Philip Green for his reprehensible actions at the helm of the much loved BHS. He is presented as a self-serving ‘rogue’ more interested in his personal summer holidays than ensuring the pensions of former BHS employees. The Mail takes pains to highlight the online petition of over 150,000 signatures supporting the rescinding of his knighthood.
Bias of the article: The article is heavily in favour of the victims of BHS’s collapse – its former employees. Sir Philip Green is lambasted for his callousness with respect to their pensions, his honour being stripped is his just desserts.
Topic of article: Politics, crime
Headline: Home Office ‘covered up racism of abuse judge’
Authors: Andrew Norfolk (Chief Investigative Reporter), Sean O’Neil (Chief Reporter)
Aim of the article: This article brings to light the apparent racist values held by Lowell Goddard, the former head of an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse. It aims to convince the reader of the devastating nature of such a revelation, particularly because of the nature of the inquiry in which Goddard was involved.
Agenda of the article: This article relies on numerous anonymous sources whose opinions are that Lowell Goddard exhibits racist, paternalistic and snobbish behaviour, yet these cannot be independently verified. Readers are expected to trust the Times’ reports based on its reputation. The obvious vein running through the commentary is that of rubbishing the enquiry, describing it as ‘tainted’ and paradoxically secretive despite its aims of uncovering institutional opaqueness with respect to historic abuse claims. This, claims the Times, then raises questions about the then Home Secretary Mrs May’s present leadership of the Nation.
Bias of the article: The Times does not present a balanced view of Lowell Goddard’s leadership of the enquiry. The article is inflammatory and confrontational and has obvious political agendas smattered throughout. At no point does it provide a quotation from her or sources close to her.
Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/
Reviewed by: India Edwards