Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Celebrity
Author(s): Jonathan Reilly (Senior Reporter), Matt Wilkinson (Reporter)
Analysis: Reveal the details about the former England rugby player Danny Cipriani’s court case and stripper affair. The article focuses on Cirpriani’s evil doings, eager to spill all the beans about his hand in lying and harming the women involved. There remains little space to asses the guilt of both parties, as the women are given a pass (since they are not famous presumably) until the last line where the judge says ‘No one comes out of this episode very well’. Cipriani is painted as a liar who acted viciously to protect himself, and there is no analysis of the deeper flaws or issues perhaps behind the events. The Sun may have chosen to run this story due to the Public’s interest in celebrity events and especially sex-related scandals.
Topic of article: Politics, Brexit
Headline: May tells MPs: take it or leave it over Brexit
Author(s): Rowena Mason (Deputy Political Editor)
Analysis: Report on the second day of Brexit bill discussions in the House of Commons, and specifically on Theresa May’s ultimatum to ministers and the voting habits of these ministers. May’s announcement is the final ultimatum, designed to push the Brexit bill through the Commons without any major amendments being added on. Although many supposedly have been drawn up there has not yet been a vote to amend the bill, and despite the ‘unease’ of many MPs there still remains a majority in favour of passing the bill as is. It seems like rather a catch twenty-two here – MPs may not agree with the vote for Brexit, or the bill, but as they are being told to vote for it by their parties and rejection may lead to Britain’s harm in negotiations many are unable to take action. The article does offer little analysis of the implications these easy passage of the bill may have on May’s power base. She is already being portrayed as ‘facing down rebellions’, a strong image of power from the Guardian. Although we are being told of first time rebels and the difficult times for the government, there remains reluctance for a deeper analysis of how this Brexit bill shape the British political future.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Economics, Politics
Headline: New blow for 21m savers
Author(s): James Salmon (Pensions and Investment Reporter), Paul Thomas (Money Reporter)
Analysis: Report on the recent announcement that National savings interest rates will be cut, and to tell the readers why this will affect them unfairly. The Mail is always placing itself as the champion of the average man, and this article is directly aimed at this. The headline chosen for the day is about savings cuts made that will affect many people, and the subheading has a direct reference to the reader ‘your chance of winning’ – written to make the reader stop and think about how they would feel about not winning. This emotional response is meant to form the basis of any interpretation of the topic, as there is little analysis of the causes behind these interest rate slashes (I’ll give you a hint, it starts with B, ends with T and sounds like exit). While the Mail boldly defaces any public figure who warns of the economic effects of Britain’s current issues, it then claims that the government is punishing the average person in order to generate more cash for itself. That bosses and minsters are sitting around making these decisions to harm YOU, take your winnings away – which by the way the chance of winning is about 3/21,000,000, worse than many lottery odds. But don’t’ worry, Theresa May has had no hand in these policies and she will come riding in to save the average joe because she is and will forever be the peoples champion. Just don’t ask too many question please.
Topic of article: Economics
Headline: Britain faces biggest tax bill for 30 years
Author(s): Philip Aldrick (Economics Editor)
Analysis: Inform the public about the Government’s plans to generate a budget surplus by 2020 through tax increases and further spending cuts. The headline begins by focusing on the tax bill increase that ‘Britain’ will see. The use of Britain as an entire entity makes it much harder to imagine the individual effects of this tax increase, as lower earners may be disproportionately affected. The idea of a tax bill is used to explain an economic policy in a way that is applicable to the everyday reader of the paper – this may not reflect the reality of the policy but it enables someone to place it into the context of their lives and so make sense of it – a method which leads to misunderstanding over budget deficits and the economics of a country vs. the economics of an individual. The article goes on to mention how major categories such as borrowing, budget deficits and debt are at their highest since the 1960’s, giving the issue a record like quality which draws peoples attention and interest. It also attempts to place the issues in an extreme light so that the resulting spending cuts and tax increases are perhaps justified, despite some years of austerity being roundly rejected by economic experts throughout the world. The article finishes with mention of the chancellors budget announcement, the only direct reference to ministers, and his desire that it ‘not be a policy event’ – is this because he does not want the nation paying any attention to what the cuts are that he will announce? Ignorance lends them power.
Front page images from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers
Reviewed by: Sam Hewitt