Thursday, 8th December 2016

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

The Sun1.jpg

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: Bloody Outrage

Authors: Tom Newton Dunn

Aim of the article: The Sun reports on Northern Irish Police’s decision to investigate British troops who may have unlawfully killed civilians during the troubles 

Agenda of the article: The article is of course, outraged that British troops may face manslaughter and murder charges over crimes committed over 50 years ago, during the troubles. The article notes on the fact that it will cost the taxpayer money to fund for this investigation, that they deem a ‘bloody outrage’. However, although the article notes that 350 deaths will be investigated, which will implicate  around 1000 formed British troops, there is barely any attempt to provide justification nor reasons for this investigation. It is clear that this article simply aims to outrage readers, rather inform on the real trauma felt by many families generations down the line, who feel as though they did not get any justice. 

Bias of the article: As stated above there is no effort to supply motivations for why this investigation is being carried out. Specifically, no sources are used, despite the very public nature of this investigation. Whilst it is of course right to point out whether it is ethical or just to prosecute former troops of manslaughter if they were on duty, there should not come within an article, an automatic assumption of no wrong doing in historic cases of warfare. As past incidents including Abu Grahib have shown that army officers may abuse their power to violate international human rights. This is a complicated story, and the Sun rather than deconstruct this story, attempts to portray one side only.

The Guardian2.jpg

Topic of article: International Affairs, Politics

Headline: Johnson hits out at Saudis on proxy wars

Authors: Patrick Wintour, Rowena Mason

Aim of the article: The article reports on disparaging comments made by Boris Johnson regarding Saudi Arabia

Agenda of the article: The only paper out of the other three to headline this story, it is clear that The Guardian feels this story to be important, and it is. The article presents Boris Johnson’s comments regarding Saudi Arabia in a factual and detached manner. Additionally, Theresa May’s contrasting comments regarding the Saudi government is drawn within the article to demonstrate the differences in diplomacy between both government ministers. The article also highlights to the reader the predicament that Boris will find himself in, once he visits the Gulf and has to explain how he believes the Saudi Government is “misusing Islam for political agendas”. Additionally the article notes on how many may view his statements as “undiplomatic”, and draws attention to the Conservative Party’s desire to portray Johnson as more “professional” than his public persona as London Mayor.

Bias of the article: There are a wide range of quotations used within the article, so it is clear that the words spoken by Boris Johnson, and Theresa May are not misinterpreted. Additionally, the article does not either praise nor condemn Johnson’s statements, opting instead to report on the issues which may come about due to the comments.

The Daily Mail3.jpg

Topic of article: Politics, Domestic Affairs

Headline: Day MPs spoke for Britain

Author(s): James Slack, Jason Groves, Jack Doyle

Aim of the article: The article talks about MPs overwhelming support to back up the government’s timetable for leaving the EU.

Agenda of the article: The article celebrates the result, attempting to demonstrate how this proves that article 50 will be evoked with little problem. This is despite the incoming supreme court case which might make leaving the EU more problematic than advertised by the Dailymail and other pro-brexit voices or MPs. It’s obvious that this article aims to maintain support for a hard line exit from the EU, and provide an image to its readers that this promise will be kept. Of course, this further pressures our government to attempt to do so, in order to appease the readers of outlets such as the Dailymail, who have worked throughout the years to sell them this dream of a Britain “free” from the EU, no matter what the consequences.

Bias of the article: Though it is true that MPs overwhelmingly supported the timetable for May’s plan of when to trigger article 50, MPs also overwhelmingly backed Labour’s motion, which calls for parliaments to have a role in scrutinizing the government’s published plan on exiting the EU. The article does not mention this important step which could greatly affect the way in which we leave the EU, and this may look different to how readers of the Dailymail may view it. 

The Times4.jpg

Topic of article: Economics

Headline: Consultants take billions from foreign aid budget

Authors: Alexil Mostrous, Bithy Kimber, Times Data Team

Aim of the article: The article informs the public about the International Aid department being overcharged by consultancy companies within the UK

Agenda of the article: It is clear that the intent is to expose the Consultancy sector as taking advantage of the international aid budget, by overcharging many aid projects for simple projects or inflating their prices. The Times sources its own investigation as evidence of this shady business, and demonstrates the willingness of the international aid secretary to follow up this investigation with further research into the sector’s salaries and to review all foreign aid contracts.

Bias of the article: Specific examples of overcharging and price inflation are brought up within this article in order to provide more assurance of the credibility of the investigation by The Times. Additionally, the newspaper has reached out for comment by those specifically mentioned within the article such as a channel 4 news reporter, who claims he will be giving much of his money back, and not knowing that international aid donations was paying for the project he participated in.

Front page images from:

Reviewed by: Albana Aruqaj



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