Papers Reviewed: The Daily Mirror, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
The Daily Mirror
Topic of article: Sport, Crime
Headline: England Ace: ‘I was sexually abused by coach for four years’
Authors: Jeremy Armstrong (North-East Correspondent)
Aim of the article: Report on a recent allegation that a youth coach for a football team sexually assaulted prominent football player of the time Paul Stewart
Agenda of the article: The article follows on from a recent interview with another previous football player who came out and said that he had been sexually abused as a boy coming through the youth teams, and that he knew the practise was more widespread than anyone would believe. He also ended his interview with the hope that others would come forward with their own stories, and this is an example. The article does not say if the coach was the same as the other one. The writing does use the public’s love of football to ensure attention is given to the information, ‘England ace’ and ‘England star’ helping readers recall the played favourably. The allegations made within are terrible, and give an insight into the dirty secrets hidden from the public within football. It makes one think of the issues surrounding homosexual players, around betting on games and drug use, and now this, paedophilia within the training systems. Readers would finish this article surely questioning the glitzy nature of the modern football game.
Bias of the article: The article functions as an outlet for the player and so it does not have any interviews with the accused coach or anyone else. While the claims are not yet verifiable there will surely be criminal proceedings into the case.
Topic of article: Politics, Economics
Headline: Chancellor to crack down on letting fees
Authors: Anushka Asthana (Political Editor)
Aim of the article: Inform the readers about the upcoming economic announcements in the government’s autumn statement
Agenda of the article: The article focuses most of its attention on the announcement of increased regulation planned for letting fees from agents. This comes only 2 months after the conservative housing minister had refused calls to do just the same thing, and 6 months after Cameron’s government had refused. This juxtaposition between the recent stances on the issue and the current announcement helps to create an impression of haphazardness within the government. The decision to both ignore previous party stances and warnings from the National Landlords Association in favour of policies championed by Labour, the Lib Dems and aimed at blunting the impact of Brexit speaks volumes about the government’s ability to handle a smooth Brexit. As concerns mount over the handling and direction of negotiations, it seems measures to appease voters and provide safeguards against the negative fallouts from leaving the EU have been increased. However, as the article is careful to point out, ‘the devil is in the details’, perhaps making a reference to May’s ability to promise lovely sounding ideas and policies for the public but inability to back them up when it comes time for action.
Bias of the article: The article is careful to examine both sides of the argument around letting fee changes, with quotes from both the pro and con sides of the issue. This gives the reader a better understanding of why some might not agree with the changes, as well as background on the government’s previous views.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Politics, America
Headline: Farage farce in Washington
Author(s): Jason Groves (Deputy Political Editor) and James Slack (Political Editor)
Aim of the article: To discuss the recent comments made by Trump about Farage and his possible role as US Ambassador
Agenda of the article: The article offers a scandalised take on the whole affair, beginning the writing with words such as ‘extraordinary’, ‘oust’ and ‘farce’ to describe the attempts by Trump and Farage. The reader is left in little doubt about how to feel regarding the events, with the paper even calling the current ambassador ‘our man’. There is likely an anti-interference sentiment from foreign powers at work here, with the paper angry at possible hijacking of British affairs by a US politician and determined to fight back. Unfortunately the paper does go on to describe how Trump could perhaps force the hand of Britain, by refusing to deal with the ambassador and instead demanding a replacement. This unfortunate possibility works to highlight the precarious nature of British pride at work here, as should push come to shove Britain would surely have to bow down to the stronger power in America.
Bias of the article: The article is vehemently against the interference by Trump and construct most of the language to convey this idea. They include a commentary on who would be to blame for any reduction in British-American relationships and who allowed Farage to gain as much favour, which gives the reader some background. There are however no quotes from named parties, and the sources are unverifiable.
Topic of article: European Union, Brexit, Politics
Headline: Europeans round on top Brexit ministers
Authors: Bruno Waterfield (Brussels Correspondent)
Aim of the article: Report on the increasing tensions between European politicians and Brexit ministers
Agenda of the article: The disastrous relationships between European and British ministers continue to be a favourite topic of the Times, and they continue to expose the arrogance and ignorance of Boris Johnson, with David Davies thrown in as well. The impression given is of two British politicians who find the whole process a bit of a joke as they still think they will get what they want, no matter what the silly Europeans say, and really in the end if they have to make compromises so be it because their money is nicely wrapped up in offshore accounts and safe bank vaults and its only going to be the poor who suffer and really, who cares about them? Assuming this report contains the truth regarding the attitudes on the continent, the Brexit deal is going to be a lot harder than the government keeps making it out to be. And that therein is one of the biggest issues; May and the Conservatives spend their whole time assuring the public they will fight for small businesses and ensure that Britain still remains competitive, all the while seemingly having little to no idea of what they are going to be able to negotiate and even what they are actually trying to negotiate for.
Bias of the article: The article does contain many sources which are unverifiable, as they have been reported to have spoken directly to the paper itself and so the reports are unverifiable. However the general flavour of the comments have been made public to other outlets so these are known. There are no quotes directly from the ministers involved, or from the government so they are not given the opportunity to respond.
Front page images from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers
Reviewed by: Sam Hewitt