Thursday 17th November 2016

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

The Sun1.jpg

Topic of article: Sport

Headline: 3 Lions team in a 4am Bender

Authors: Jake Ryan

Aim of the article: The article covers the FA’s decision to ban England football players from partying whilst at international games. 

Agenda of the article: The article attempts at reporting the FA’s decision which has come about due to earlier reports by The Sun which promoted an outcry at the revelation of partying players. Wayne Rooney is said to have apologised for his behaviour within the story. The story also states that the FA are further investigating the matter. 

Bias of the article: This article really just furthers an unnecessary vilification of English football players for simply partying. If it isn’t illegal for the players to drink as they are above age, then whats the problem? The article fails to demonstrate the range of criticisms which has come about as a consequence of the FA’s decision to ban players from having nights out whilst away at international games. There is no effort from The Sun to counter the outraged view that football players are drinking. Additionally, The Sun states that Rooney has apologised, as proof of his admission that his actions were wrong. However, when you examine the apology provided, his apology actually indicates sorrow that private pictures became public consumption.

The Guardian2.jpg

Topic of article: Education

Headline: University staff contracts ‘like Sports Direct’

Authors: Aditya Chakrabortty

Aim of the article: The article aims to expose the unstable work conditions for many university lecturers across the country

Agenda of the article: Within this article, The Guardian seeks to demonstrate the reality of working as a University Lecturer as non-lucrative, and very unstable. Zero hour contracts and short term contracts are depicted within the article as synonymous with something that you would expect from retail store Sports Direct, not for academic institutions. The article stresses the injustice of these insecure working contracts by highlighting the nine thousand pounds a year that students are paying, expecting high quality education. The way in which academics are paid, and contracted, has an effect on the education they deliver, is the clear message that The Guardian portrays.

Bias of the article: The article provides personal accounts from University academics who support the Guardian’s message that academics are increasingly being put into insecure working contracts, and account for the effects that this has on their teaching due to stress. Additionally, the story supplies official statistics to back up assertions that many academics in Russel Group Universities are being treated badly.

The Daily Mail3.jpg

Topic of article: Crime, Domestic Affairs

Headline: What is going on in our jails? 

Author(s): Ian Drury, David Wilkes

Aim of the article: The article shocks the reader into believing that prisoners are having a ‘cushy’ life

Agenda of the article: It is clear that the article aims to portray British prisoners as living a life of luxury. Despite the recent reports of prison systems being underfunded and thus, becoming increasingly violent and uncontrollable. In typical DM fashion, the article blames the violent and chaotic antics of the prisoners on the prisoners themselves, being ‘spoiled’ by the prison system. Steaks, drugs and booze are these prisoner’s luxuries within the article.  There seems to be a notion that the prisoners are being given too many luxury items, and little attention is paid to the increasingly violent nature of British prisons.

Bias of the article: Many investigative pieces of journalism has recently found the British prison system to be grossly underfunded, and crucially understaffed. Proven by recent protests by prison officers, who have accused the government of not responding appropriately to their legitimate concerns over the level of violence and under-staffing currently taking place within the system. However, has the DailyMail covered any of this in their article about out of control prisoner behaviour? Not at all. Instead, opting to demonstrate the luxurious nature of the prison system, already underfunded, and simply concentrating on the prisoner’s behaviours alone, rather than the root causes of the out of control nature of prisons. This is really questionable in terms of journalistic practices, given the requirement of articles to provide a balanced, nuanced and informative picture. However, all the article does is vilify prison inmates even further, and does nothing to raise the consciousness of the public of the actual ways that prisons may improve. 

The Times4.jpg

Topic of article: Domestic Affairs

Headline: 95% of new workers are foreign-born

Authors: Richard Ford, Phillip Aldrick

Aim of the article: The article informs readers of the economic benefits that immigrant workers bring to Britain

Agenda of the article: The article attributes to employment levels being at an all time high, as linked to the increase in foreign born workers within the country. The article notes how this finding in official statistics contradicts many claims made by eurosceptics regarding the increase in  immigrants and its disastrous effect on our economy. In addition, the article attributes the increase in employment levels due to the opportunity that foreign labour provides for cheap labour. This means that many companies increase positions available for employment, due to their ability to rely on usually cheaper foreign labour.

Bias of the article: The article clearly highlights the economic benefits that immigrants bring, particularly in context with the EU. However, not all classified foreign born workers will be from the EU, though the article does not mention this possibility. Despite this, the article provides the statistics required to ensure that it’s story is legitimate, in other words the economy is fairing better in the last year of British membership to the EU, as a consequence of immigrant workers. The article does seek representation from critics of immigrant labour, quoting chairman of ‘migrationwatch’, who of course, sticks to the narrative that an increase of immigrants is worrying for Brits. In all, the article is pretty balanced in terms of providing different accounts of the effects of immigration, whilst also sticking to it’s story back by statistics which show that a large part of the growing British workforce are immigrants.

Front page images from:

Reviewed by: Albana Aruqaj


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