Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Honours
Headline: Give Him a Dam Gong
Author(s): Katie Hodge (Sun reporter) & James Mills (News reporter)
Analysis: The article informs the reader how a man who served in the RAF during WW2 was snubbed by the honours system. The Sun are leading calls to give this man an award. The Sun puts the honours system in context and justifies why he should receive an award by saying “after honours for Cameron’s cronies & pen-pushers,…”. It is difficult to ascertain why The Sun are so keen for this particular man to receive an award. It could perhaps be because he is a veteran and The Sun wants to appear patriotic or maybe The Sun feels that Cameron’s “cronies and pen-pushers” were given unfair awards. Nevertheless, the story that The Sun wishes to publish as its front page headlines is questionable. On the one hand perhaps this man should have been considered for an award, on the other hand it potentially does not deserve to be on the front page ahead of other stories.
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: Labour warned cocktail of risks could leave party with 150 MPs
Author(s): Peter Walker (Political correspondent)
Analysis: The article informs its reader about the findings of a report published by the Fabian Society which highlights that the Labour party will have fewer than 150 seats due to a multitude of factors. Despite the author mentioning that the report states that Brexit, a lack of support in Scotland and an unpopular leader as reasons why the Labour party will have fewer seats in the next election, it fails to appropriately elaborate on Brexit and a lack of support in Scotland. Instead, it focuses on Corbyn and his team. The author paints a very bleak picture of the prospects of the Labour party. There appears to be no comment or quote from the Labour leader himself or a Labour MP in response of this report.
Topic of article: Foreign aid
Headline: Queue here for UK’s £1BN foreign aid cashpoint
Author(s): John Stevens (Whitehall editor)
Analysis: The article informs its reader about the UK’s foreign aid being given as cash to citizens of Pakistan. The Daily Mail states that the foreign aid is being “lavished on a scheme in Pakistan that has been dogged by claims of corruption” and mentions how the people queuing up in the picture are withdrawing money under the ‘project’. Neither does the author give any sources or evidence to show that these corruption claims exist nor does it elaborate on ‘the project’ that the money is being used on. This is very poor reporting from the Daily Mail, it appears unreliable and does not provide enough information to present a balanced view to the reader. The images and the headlines are very divisive, fuels xenophobia and individualism. The Daily Mail is not naive for this to be unintentional and it must be held accountable for providing an unbalanced, agenda-based front page news article. Very poor reporting indeed.
Topic of article: Transport
Headline: Rail fares six times higher than in Europe
Author(s): Graeme Paton (Transport correspondent)
Analysis: The article informs its reader about the rise in rail fares which is almost twice the rate of inflation and three times higher than last year’s increase. Numerous statistics are being used to demonstrate how the rise in rail fares is affecting commuters: “passengers are spending as much as 14 per cent of their salary travelling to work every day”. They also state that commuters in other European countries are not suffering from rail prices like those in Britain. One of the reasons for this is that the government subsidises rail costs whereas in Britain the government has cut £1.1 billion (24%) over the past 5 years. Despite wages stagnating and commuters being unhappy at delayed trains and over-crowding, it is apparent that commuters are annoyed at the rises in rail fare. The author does not mention or explore why the government has been cutting railway subsidies.
Reviewed by: Bruno Gnaneswaran