Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Entertainment
Headline: TV Rory stalked secret lover
Author(s): Rob Pattinson (Reporter)
Analysis: Television comedian Rory McGrath has been given a suspended sentence relating to the harassment of a previous partner. Effectively the article paints the image of a flawed man and uses the image of McGrath looking sideways to illustrate this. The article is clearly disapproving (“he stinks its all over…”) and briefly covers that he had a “secret mistress” and after the relationship ending he harassed her including “threatening to sense her husband intimate pictures” and “hiding in park bushes.” Although this is based on court proceedings there is no identification of where the information is sources from and therefore readers assume it is all from the legal case, which may not be true. This is a classic case of The Sun bringing its moral judgement on someone and thereby bringing the individual into disrepute.
Topic of article: Politics; International
Headline: ‘Opposites attract’: Britain can work with Trump, says May
Author(s): Heather Stewart (Joint Political Editor, Philadelphia), Julian Borger (World Affairs Editor, Washington)
Analysis: The Guardian describes Prime Minister Theresa May’s words when speaking to Republicans in Philadelphia and her thoughts before her meeting with President Donald Trump. The description of the “brash billionaire” contrasting with the “vicar’s daughter” of Trump and May embodies the incredulity of this article, particularly at the conciliatory tone of the Prime Minister, wanting to “ “deepen” links” with the U.S. and their “joint responsibility to lead.” To emphasise this, the article compares May’s sense “stand strong together to defend our values, our interests and the every ideas in which we believe” with Trump’s belief that torture “absolutely” works. To provide context of Trump’s “chaotic and unpredictable” first week of presidency the article specifically highlights the use of torture and the wall at the border with Mexico. Moreover May stating her “tough” stance on torture gives the sense of fear that, despite these words, concessions and compromises might be made in favour of the agenda of Trump. May and Trump are the only two quoted throughout the article.
Topic of article: Health
Headline: Hip ops banned if you can sleep
Author(s): Sophie Borland (Health Editor)
Analysis: The article reports that three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the West Midlands have changed their criteria for hip and knee operations to require that their conditions interferes with “daily life” or “ability to sleep.” The use of the word “deny” in this article probably tells you a lot: the Mail believes that people have a right to the operation that they want and using “controversial scoring systems” is unjust for patients. They describe multiple areas of the country employing such criteria to decide whether the £5000 operations would be right for the patients as if this is a sly onslaught of cruelty towards individuals. In reality what they describe is patients who do not have pain to a level that it is interfering with activities of daily life or sleep or who are “very overweight” which may put them at risk during operations are not seen as appropriate for operations at that time, which doesn’t really reflect the dramatic headline claim. The newspaper does suggest that this is a cost-saving measure for the CCGs but doesn’t give column inches to describing how necessary, though perhaps not desirable, cutting costs by using criteria like these could be for the NHS and patients.
Topic of article: Politics; International
Headline: Let’s stand together and halt eclipse of the West
Author(s): Francis Elliot (Political Editor, Philadelphia)
Analysis: The Times describes the content of Theresa May’s “well received” speech to a Republican retreat in Philadelphia on the eve of her visit to President Trump. Unlike The Guardian article this does not have the sense of incredulity at May’s speech and heavily quotes from her speech rather than providing any commentary of Trump’s controversial actions in the past week. The article focuses on May’s message that the UK and US should work together to lead to project their joint values such as democracy, liberty and human rights to countries across the world. There is a sense of superiority throughout the speech and an odd contrast of her saying it was the end of interventions such as Iraq with the aim of “making the world in our image” but at the same time she described “projecting” the values described above onto other countries. The sentence that “when others step up as we step back, it is bad for America, and Britain, and the world” emphasises the anti-China rhetoric and the sense that these two superpowers want to continue seeing themselves as dominant.
Reviewed by: Alice Edwards