Monday 12th December 2016
Papers Reviewed: The Mirror, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Financial Times
N.B. The Sun’s and The Times’ front pages were unavailable for download today (and I am not intending on buying them.)
The Daily Mirror
Topic of article: Crime
Headline: Forgive me: Britain’s most hated mum, who faked the kidnap of her own girl, begs…
Authors: Lucy Thornton (Yorkshire Correspondent)
Aim of the article: The article reports that Karen Matthews, mother of Sharron Matthews who was reported kidnapped but afterwards it was found some of her family were aware of her whereabouts.
Agenda of the article: Effectively the article says that Matthews has “found God” and now admits “I did wrong.” and wants forgiveness for her actions that made her “Britain’s most hated mum.” Overall the article is negative about Matthews, bringing her back into press attention as someone with low moral values by “faking the kidnap of her own girl”, despite that the article is about her asking for forgiveness. So under the pretence of supporting her they are again stirring up this “hatred” by suggesting – by printing this article – that there should be a debate about whether to grant Matthews’ wish or not in order to sell more papers. Classic.
Bias of the article: There are no sources identified in the article although we assume that Matthews herself must have said some of it. As highlighted above the article is oddly juxtaposing being supportive and critical of Matthews at once, though it may at least be a change from being purely critical of her by allowing her this “plea.” There is no analysis in the article of the original action or motives for it or any context, it relies upon prior knowledge.
Topic of article: Health
Headline: NHS beds crisis exiles children to Scotland for specialist care
Authors: Sarah Marsh (Social and Community Editor), Dennis Campbell (Health Policy Editor)
Aim of the article: The article informs readers about a shortage of beds for eating disorder patients in England resulting in some patients being treated in units far from their homes including Scotland.
Agenda of the article: One can see from the headline using “exiles children” that this article is emotive; it describes two personal stories on this front page and describes the risks of the bed shortage including increasing “their risk of dying.” The article uses loaded language in its criticism of NHS England and defence of the vulnerable “children” with eating disorders. There is little discussion of why NHS England has been unable to match number of local beds with eating disorder services patients – whether this is to do with a rise in seriously ill individuals or inadequacy of service funding or both; however this may be dissected further in the full article.
Bias of the article: As stated above the article uses two personal stories – one from a patient themselves and the other from the parent of a patient, both re-telling very difficult experiences and supporting the articles message that this shortage can have disastrous consequences for patients. There is also mention of “mental health experts”, “doctors” and “eating disorders charities” including Anorexia and Bulimia Care who are quoted in the article. There is no spokesperson for the NHS or those specifically in charge of eating disorders services to provide explanation and counter the claims of the article.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Crime
Headline: The words that must free Sgt Blackman this week
Author(s): Sam Greenhill (Chief Reporter)
Aim of the article: This is a continuation of The Daily Mail campaign to support Sargent Alexander Blackman who is a Royal Marine currently awaiting potential bail for an appeal for a murder conviction which occurred whilst on duty.
Agenda of the article: The article is claiming that the lawyers’ evidence and previous head of UK Special Forces John Holmes both support that Blackman should be allowed release whilst waiting appeal for the murder conviction. The article is fully in support of Blackman and could be quite difficult to understand if you hadn’t seen previous articles in the paper. The article is also self-referential as it indicates Blackman’s “debt of gratitude” to those such as the newspaper’s readers.
Bias of the article: The article only includes quotes from the lawyers report and Major General John Holmes, who has put up bail for Blackman. There is no discussion of the chances of the appeal succeeding or the nuances of the case and what actually happened as, again, this is assumed knowledge of readers.
The Financial Times
Topic of article: Politics; International
Headline: Trump attacks CIA after findings of Russian interference in election
Authors: David Lynch (Washington Correspondent)
Aim of the article: The article is describing President-elect Trump’s Fox news interview responding to the CIA report describing Russian involvement in the U.S. presidential election.
Agenda of the article: The article is highly critical of Trump and this grows throughout the article, as they describe questions asked of him and tell his responses in a mocking way. For example regarding a 35% tax on goods from U.S. companies who have moved abroad and this going against Republican policy he called it “the dumb market.” They also describe Trump as “the former reality television star” and Rex Tillerson who is a potential Secretary of State as “the oil man.” The article isn’t only making Trump look ill-informed on economic issues but also the article is, to a degree, suggesting at the corruption of his campaign considering Tillerson to be secretary of state due to him having a “close personal relationship” with Putin.
Bias of the article: The article quotes from Trump himself and from the bi-partisan “quartet” of two Republican and two Democratic senators criticising the CIA report becoming a “partisan issue.” Generally the tone is insulting to Trump and doesn’t provide any other sources that support him in the article. There is some balanced discussion surrounding Tillerson only being one of a couple of candidates Trump is considering but this is piecemeal compared to the rest of the article.
Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/
Reviewed by: Alice Edwards