Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Crime
Headline: Harry Redknapp runs over his wife
Authors: Andy Crick
Aim of the article: The article reports on a freak accident
Agenda of the article: The headline of The Sun claims that Redknapp run over his wife… but that title is exaggerated for shock value. The story goes on to reveal that her foot was injured as he accidentally run over it, so a better, but less alarming headline that could have been used was “Redknapp accidentally injures wife”, except that doesn’t sell newpapers as much. Especially not in a context whereby there is more pressing issues to put as the headline story. An interesting question, is why would The Sun choose to deliberately paint Redknapp as a potential murderer to people who do not continue to read the story and figure out that what is actually being reported is a freak accident, not a case of attempted murder?
Bias of the article: Once the reader gets past the initial misleading title, the article does clarify the reality of the accident. That is, the innocent intention, and the date, time and place whereby the accident takes place. The article also makes use of sources, whilst stating that Redknapp stayed over night in hospital with his wife, after the accident took place.
Topic of article: Politics, Crime, International Affairs
Headline: UK Muslims to go it alone with rival terror prevention strategy
Authors: Vikram Dodd
Aim of the article: The article discusses a grassroots programme created as an alternative to government anti-terror programme, Prevent.
Agenda of the article: It is clear that the main intent is to simply inform readers on the new initiative set up by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCE) and the reasons for it. The reasons provided is that there is a willingness within the Muslim Community to work together to prevent radicalization for its members, without being constrained by the Government’s ‘ideological purity test’, which only worked with Muslim leaders who were acceptable in the eyes of the Government. This means that this new initiative will be set up in hopes of being merely practical, rather than ideological, in defeating radicalisation within Britain. It also provides an account of why it may be more effective than Prevent, as it has a more grassroots base which can tap into hard to reach individuals.
Bias of the article: The article does well to remain balanced. Whilst accounting for reasons why many feel its necessary for this alternative anti-terror programme to be set up, the article ensures that it accounts for the difficulties which may arise with this new programme. Additionally, it does provide statistics as to how many referrals Prevent has actually reached. This means that Prevent is not completely depicted as ineffective, but rather shows the reality. That is, that it is flawed, and questioned by many Muslim leaders and community members for its political ideology.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Politics, International Affairs
Headline: Give ‘Child Migrants’ Age Tests, Says Straw
Author(s): Sam Greenhall, Christian Gysin, Emine Sinmaz
Aim of the article: The Mail paints a devious depiction of child refugees allowed to settle in the UK
Agenda of the article: This article takes on a very hostile approach to child refugees, promoting ruthlessly the notion that the child refugees are in fact adults trying to fool the Home Office. Jack Straw’s comments regarding his desire for these child refugees to undergo dental tests in order to prove their age is promoted within this article with no counter argument. Unsurprisingly, this article is really not concerned with questioning it’s own very obvious negative stance towards child refugees who will be allowed to seek asylum in the UK. Nor bringing up the fact that the British Dental Association has described these tests as inaccurate, inappropriate and unethical. But that would get in the way of promoting the Mail’s anti-immigrant agenda wouldn’t it.
Bias of the article: The bias of this article to deliberately create an anti-compassionate or balanced reporting of the child refugees is quite shocking (or not depending on if you’ve read the Mail before). Tiresome referencing of REFUGEES as migrants (are we seriously still doing that DM? Stop), only further adds to the accusatory tone of this article which pretty much depicts refugees (even kids) as con artists. What’s worse is the label ‘migrant’ completely negates the political turbulence that these kids have been forced to flea. Additionally, there is NO effort for the mail to counter the view that many of these refugees are lying about their age. This is so frustrating particularly as this attitude of “these kids are con artists” is exactly what led to many innocent child refugees being detained in adult detainment centers in this country and later being found to be proven as children. But hey DM, lets just keep stirring that xenophobic pot, eh, instead of doing some ethical and responsible reporting.
Topic of article: Politics, Domestic Affairs
Headline: May accused of cover-up during abuse inquiry chief
Authors: Francis Elliott, Sean O’Neill
Aim of the article: The Times accuses Theresa May of covering up for the now resigned head of national child abuse inquiry
Agenda of the article: This inquiry and its apparent inefficiencies has been regularly reported on by the Times. Theresa May is accused of knowing that Dame Lowell Goddard, former head of the inquiry until she resigned, knew of concerns over Goddard’s performance as head of inquiry, including her lack of grasp of the British law and alleged racism. The article importantly calls into question the controversial nature of £80,000 sum of money paid to Goddard despite her resignation, whilst May was aware of the allegations against Goddard as an inappropriate head of inquiry.
Bias of the article: The article does not make clear that the Home Office were only made aware of the accusations against Goddard, six days before her resignation. It provides an impression that Theresa May knew and was covering up for Goddard for a longer time. Though I’m no fan of May, this should be made clearer for readers.
Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/
Reviewed by: Albana Aruqaj