Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Crime
Headline: Huntley: call me Lian
Author(s): Jonathan Reilly (Senior Reporter), Tom Wells (Chief Reporter)
Analysis: Report on the actions of the convicted child killer Ian Huntley while in jail. Branded a ‘Sun Exclusive’, the story is aimed at creating anger and scorn towards this man and his behaviour. Thinly veiled behind the reports about giving himself a female name and using make-up is the hint that this is not an appropriate thing to do, and makes this criminal even more depraved. Although the nature of his crimes are significantly worse, this brings to mind the Chelsea Manning case, where after being thrown in jail she, formerly a he, went through gender reassignment and was vilified in the media. The appearance of anything considered abnormal in a man’s acceptance of his gender is often seen as creepy and disgusting, and this emotion is used to stoke hatred for Huntley. And while his crimes do not demand acceptance, the relevance of a report like this does seem to be a valid question.
Topic of article: Politics, Crime
Headline: New questions for Nuttall on Hillsborough
Author(s): Ian Cobain (Investigative Reporter), Rowena Mason (Political Correspondent)
Analysis: Report on the recent questions, and admissions, of Paul Nuttall the Ukip leader, regarding his involvement and presence at the Hillsborough disaster. The article continues reporting on the growing controversy around Paul Nuttall and claims made by on his website and by him that he was both at the Hillsborough stadium as a young boy and that he had lost close personal friends. The sub-heading of the article claims Nuttall admits he did not lose personal friends, implying that he admits to lying. But closer inspection later shows he claims to have never written these things on his website and so attempts to manage his way out of the situation. He is then quoted as launching am aggressive counter to questions he was never at the Hillsborough stadium, saying this has hurt him and his family. Essentially the paper is showing us that even when there is evidence Nuttall is lying he continues covering himself up, even using the Farage-like turn towards personal damage and these claims ‘harming the family’. It is a cheap method of saving face. The article then transitions directly into a quote from a mother whose son died at the stadium where she questions his empathy as he has never offered to help the support the families, a fair question and one that builds on the readers growing sense of disgust in Nuttall. He is painted as using Hillsborough for political gains, and the second half of the article, packed full of quotes from anti-Nuttall ministers, reinforces this. There is extensive source referencing for the claims made against Nuttall, making the claims even stronger.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Politics, Environment
Headline: Plastic bottle betrayal
Author(s): Daniel Martin (Chief Political Correspondent), Sean Poulter (Reporter)
Analysis: Express concern over the potential scrapping of bottle recycling schemes, how this will impact the British environment and put forward a grass-roots campaign to address the issue. The headline is printed in all bold, capital letters and is like a loud yell from the paper. Betrayal!! it says, as we all pick it up and wonder what is going on. But we are quickly informed that it’s those pesky ministers in Westminster who have betrayed us, the British people, and yet again attempted to throw our country to the dogs. The Mail consistently paints Westminster as being sort of an enemy of the public, making every decision against the publics will. And while there may be some solid evidence for adopting this recycling scheme, the paper does not afford a detailed analysis of the pros and cons surely put forwards by those who disagree, instead insisting they are ‘betraying’ the country. It is worrying that the Mail readers may develop an inherent distrust and belief that ministers purposefully mislead the people, a platform that has gained momentum as the rise of populism is seen across the western world. The paper does include some research from organisations supporting the bottle recycle scheme, which helps to strength it’s position in support of the scheme, and the campaign it puts forwards ‘Take back your bottles’ may be environmentally friendly, something that brings hope for someone like me who was raised in America and saw the opposition to many forms of recycling initiatives.
Topic of article: Business, Economics, Politics
Headline: Tax cut for Amazon as high street shops suffer
Author(s): Michael Savage (Chief Political Correspondent), Lucy Bannerman (Reporter), Deirdre Hipwell (Retail Editor)
Analysis: Inform the readers about the effects new business taxation plans from the government will have, and specifically how this will benefit bigger companies such as Amazon. The main headline immediately creates a sense of anger and injustice in the reader, as the size and wealth of Amazon is so well known that it needs no introduction, not to mention its shady past in terms of paying tax. We are told to accept tax cuts for a company that barely needs them while the high street shops suffer, and this plays on the growing sense of disparity the public is feeling between the rich and successful and everyone else. As we have had a glimpse into the workings of the richest companies and people following Mossack Fonseca, so we are perhaps more sensitive to these tax breaks given to the already rich. As Brexit begins to rear its ugly head in the form of re-worked tax laws and trade negotiations, so we may face more instances like this. What is especially interesting in this article is the failure of the government to properly address the modernisation of business, in the form of internet companies, and the resulting damage to smaller business. The article suggests the government is stuck in the past, or is purposefully ignoring these changes in order to attempt to lure big internet companies to Britain. There are a number of figures quoted in order to better understand the increasing costs which may help readers conceptualise the changes better.
Front page images from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers
Reviewed by: Sam Hewitt