Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Sport
Headline: Golden Crawls
Author(s): Dan Wootton (Showbiz Editor), Simon Boyle (Showbiz Editor)
Analysis: The Sun is reporting more on their “Beckileaks” exclusive surrounding David Beckham ‘s potential knighthood being withdrawn due to tax avoidance concerns. Maybe a slow day in the “Beckilecks” world, the newspaper is based upon Beckham having posted a photo of and positive comments towards of the queen for her birthday last year on his Instagram account. This, they say, represents “shameless” and “desperate” “grovelling” “to win a knighthood” which were clearly not picked up at the time by their investigative team and have only become relevant in the current news climate. There is no context of how many people, famous and not, post photos praising the queen on her birthday, what Beckham’s opinion on receiving a knighthood would be and whether the Queen checks the royal Instagram (actually a thing ?! its – @theroyalfamily) regularly.
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: Trump unfit to address MPs, says Bercow
Author(s): Anushka Asthana (Joint Political Editor), Jessica Elgot (Political Reporter), Rowena Mason(Deputy Political Editor)
Analysis: House of Commons speaker John Bercow surprisingly speaks out against Trump speaking in Westminster despite his politically neutral role and receives both praise and criticism. Effectively the article describes the speech by Bercow and then a large number of responses including that “many MPs” praised him but also indicates criticisms including: he is unable to make this decision without the agreement of Lord Fowler, his equivalent in the Lords, and a royal representative, accusations that this is political “grandstanding”, and that the comments may be of “no real consequence” particularly as Trump may have never been going to speak to Parliament as part of his state visit. So though this is described as an impassioned “unexpected” outburst from Bercow, which received support from some, the difficulties with it are not avoided in the article including discussing the political consequences for the Atlantic alliance building which May is pursuing.
Topic of article: Health, Politics
Headline: Your aid millions to help elderly in china
Author(s): John Stevens (Whitehall Editor), Tom Payne (South-West Reporter)
Analysis: The Mail criticises use of national income to help support elderly in China in the context of a national care crisis. Two elements of government spending are under fire in this article. First is The Prosperity Fund, which appears to be the project being criticised in China in the example given, which gives money to specific projects in middle-income countries. Second is that the government directs “0.7% of national income overseas” whilst “the social care system is in crisis” which they give the example of 89 year old Iris Sibley whose story of waiting to leave hospital for 6 months despite being fit for discharge made headlines this week. There isn’t any detailed discussion of any of these elements and whether this 0.7% or Prosperity fund money could just be withdrawn and used for health and social care in the U.K. or whether the issues are more complicated than that, for example the international consequences of such an action.
Topic of article: International, Crime, Politics
Headline: Assad hangs thousands of tortured opponents
Author(s): Hannah Lucinda Smith (Foreign Correspondent, Istanbul)
Analysis: The article reports the Amnesty International information regarding the hanging of prisoners by the Assad-regime in Syria. The article uses the information from Amnesty “a respected humanitarian charity based in London” as the drive behind this article which tends towards criticism of the pragmatic view of Johnson and Britain “easing its opposition to Assad keeping power for the transitional period.” There is detailed description of the situation in Syrian prisons of severe human rights abuses including torture, which the article highlights has been a known method of Assad’s government for a long time, and the extrajudicial hangings which were authorised by either “the country’s senior religious cleric, the minister of defence or the army’s chief of staff.” Overall the article is laced with unease that Assad will now be permitted to remain in power for this “transitional period” despite these large-scale reported human rights abuses.
Reviewed by: Alice Edwards