Wednesday 30th November, 2016

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

The Sunsun

Topic of article: Police

Headline: This is a Bust

Authors: Sarah Ridley (Reporter)

Aim of the article: To inform readers about an investigation into inappropriate public behaviour by a police constable

Agenda of the article: Yet again a ground-breaking story from the Sun, including their now famous ability to make anything into a pun.

Bias of the article: Although attempting to be an informed account of public display of nudity, the article does not contain quotes from either party and seems to only mention the story due to its reference to breasts.

The Guardianguardian

Topic of article: Crime

Headline: ‘I could not cope with daily life and with the abuse I suffered’

Authors: David Conn (Sports Reporter)

Aim of the article: To report on the testimony of an ex-football player who has made public allegations of sexual abuse against him during his years in youth football

Agenda of the article: The article continues the recent reporting of rampant sexual abuse and paedophilia alleged to have occurred in youth football during the 1980s-1990s. This story makes it 3 or 4 ex-footballers who have waived anonymity in order to report their story, no small matter when your name may forever be associated with abuse. By chronicling the slow rise of the alleged abuser, a youth coach, from a boys football club to a premier league team the article shows how sexual abuse at the time continued to be ignored or over-looked. Victims were too scared to speak out, and even when this man informed the team of the history of the coach they then employed there was no inquest, he just left his job. It seems likely that this scandal will continue to grow, as more footballers come out with accusations and arrests occur, and it makes one wonder what other dirty secrets the underworld of football holds. The use of a widespread photo of the Mr Bell, who speaks out about his abuse, helps to create a sense of empathy and human connection between the words on the page and the man to whom the deeds occurred.

Bias of the article: The article is reporting an interview from a victim of sexual abuse, it aims to solely present his story and so does not position itself as a conventional news article. It does mention other accusations against the same football coach, giving more credence to the abuse reported by Mr Bell.

The Daily Mailmail

Topic of article: Economics

Headline: Warning on UK’s colossal credit binge

Author(s): James Salmon (Business Correspondent)

Aim of the article: To inform readers of the growing debt among UK families

Agenda of the article: The headline is put in large font and bold, drawing the readers eye immediately. Using the word ‘colossal’ to create the image of a giant, towering pile of debt, the wording of the headline works to evoke strong feelings of being overwhelmed, and it is this feeling that the article hopes to use in order to make readers fear the information given in the paper and perhaps to incite some form of change. Often one must question what the purpose of articles like this is; to inform the reader of the growing per-family debt which they accrue daily on credit cards and mortgages with little thought/inability to consider how to pay the money off due to a consumer society that says you aren’t happy unless you own stuff and buy new things? Or is to make readers scared and realise what impact their actions may potentially have on their future happiness and so drive a form of change. Yet there are no in-depth, or indeed any attempt at, an analysis of the mentalities behind the consumer culture. So perhaps the idea is to make people afraid of themselves but just enough that they will spend some time considering the subject before comforting themselves with buying something else?

Bias of the article: The article references statistics from the Bank of England, meaning these can be validated. It also quotes an independent ‘consumer champion’ about her concerns with the behaviours. There are no interviews with families in debt, which would have made for an interesting viewpoint on the subject.

The Timestimes

Topic of article: Politics, Media, Crime

Headline: Firms must stop child ‘sexting’

Authors: Michael Savage (Political Editor), Mark Bridge (Freelance Journalist), Francis Elliot (Political Editor), Fiona Hamilton (Crime Editor)

Aim of the article: To inform readers about Jeremy Hunt’s message to mobile phone companies regarding their ability to police the data sent across their networks

Agenda of the article: The article focuses on mobile phone companies and the health secretary’s statements that more must be done to prevent sexting in under-18’s. As part of the proof that there is a sexting crisis the papers reports it’s own investigation in 2016 which showed as much. Being able to report action taken based in part upon work done by the paper plays an important role in showing readers that this paper can be trusted for quality journalism, and was perhaps a big factor in running this news story on the front page. The subject of the article is interesting due to the recent discussion about social media accountability that has started following fake news prevalence on facebook. There seems to be a greater focus on tackling the freedom of dispersion of news and information as it becomes ever easier to create and access the Internet. One question that arises though is at what point does it reach a limit where information becomes too controlled. Although no one would argue that under-18s should be able to sext freely, the question of a potential slippery slope in controlling internet information may come up with additional curtailments.

Bias of the article: The article mentions an investigation done by its same newspaper, but does go on to quote two other independent bodies when referencing the sexting crisis, enabling the facts to be verified. It may have been helpful to include comments from a member of the mobile phone companies to give their side of the story. Overall the article focuses mainly on Jeremy Hunt’s statements and the reasons why they are correct.

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

Reviewed by: Sam Hewitt

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