Wednesday 4th January, 2017

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

The Sunsun

Topic of article: Economics

Headline: White Van Ban

Author(s): Rob Pattinson (Reporter)

Analysis: Inform readers that a man was unable to buy his dream house because the contract did not allow commercial vehicles to be parked on the premises. The title of the article inappropriately equates a ban on commercial vehicles with a targeted ban on ‘white vans’, those eponymous symbols of the British working class. By wilfully ignoring this fact, the paper is able to develop the idea of a clash between ‘snooty’ upper class and the hard working, honest working class which allows them to throw all manner of abuse at the ‘other side’. It is called a ‘blow for grafters’ and ‘a joke’, with the idea being that there is intentional segregation of the working class through the activities of the upper classes. Now, while the basic ideas of that statement are in many ways correct, the choice of fight seems to miss the point and to generate artificial hatred towards a group. Additionally, we are not given any background on the properties in the area and whether this is standard procedure, so we are unequipped to be making an judgements on the developers.

The Guardianguardian

Topic of article: European Union, Brexit, Politics

Headline: Brexit row as top EU envoy stands down

Author(s): Jessica Elgot (Political Reporter), Patrick Wintour (Diplomatic Editor), Peter Walker (Political Correspondent)

Analysis: The article reports the resignation of Britain’s ambassador to the European Union and the circumstances surrounding it. The Guardian leads with a discussion of the resignation as an indictment of the Government’s attitude towards EU negotiations. They focus largely on comments made by prominent politicians which place the blame on the current handling of Brexit by May and her cabinet, as well as framing Number 10’s explanation of the situation in a very disbelieving light. While both side of the issue are represented, there is a clear preference for one opinion. The article aims to show the reader that the resignation was not merely a personal choice but rather a result of increasing disorganisation and ill-intentioned manoeuvring towards an idea of Brexit that does not hold to reality and may result in significant negative consequences for Britain.

The Daily Mailmail

Topic of article: NHS, economics, health

Headline: NHS boss: kick out hospital blood suckers

Author(s): Ben Spencer (Medical Correspondent), Andrew Levy (Journalist), Ross Parker (General Reporter)

Analysis: Report on the reaction of the NHS head, Simon Stevens, to Daily Mail evidence that for-profit lawyers are allowed space to operate with patients in major hospitals around the country. The Mail devotes a lot of this article to quoting figures and monetary savings which could be achieved by NHS hospital crackdowns on these reported lawyers. It claims that the lawyers are being ‘allowed’ to operate, as if it is solely the fault of the hospitals that they exist and placing much of the blame for budget and staff deficits on the shoulders of hospitals. The reader is not given any sources to check the figures, nor are there any interviews with doctors or patients regarding the issues discussed. The pure aim of this article is to point to another failing of NHS funded hospitals, who are apparently so full of waste that they are directly allowing money to go to ‘blood-sucking’ lawyers. There is complete disregard for the financial and managerial constraints placed upon hospitals that lead to NHS deficit, rather than claims of an epidemic of money grabbing lawyers.

The Timestimes

Topic of article: European Union, Brexit, Politics

Headline: Envoy quits over Brexit ‘muddle’

Author(s): Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor), Bruno Waterfield (Brussels Reporter)

Analysis: Discuss the recent resignation and reasons behind it of Britain’s ambassador to the European Union. The use of the word muddle in the headline sets the tone for the body of the article. A lot of focus is placed upon the breakdown of communication and relationships between the ambassador and Theresa May, and by using the personal resignation letter of the ambassador in the article the reader is shown first hand how the government has alienated experienced EU politician with their stance on Brexit. This paper does not deliver as damning a verdict as the Guardian does, with sources from both sides given space, but it does express the shared increasing concern that EU negotiations will be characterised by unrealistic expectations and dogmatic acceptance of a single party line.

Front page images from:

Reviewed by: Sam Hewitt


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