Friday 20th January 2017
Papers Reviewed: The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Police, public relations, politics
Headline: Met “stifling critics” with plan to cut funds to black officers
Author(s): Vikram Dodd, police and crime correspondent
Analysis: The Metropolitan police has cut funding to the association of black officers. As a fact on its own, this is horrendous. In this current political climate? Unbelievable. In 1998 the Stephen Lawrence report labelled the force “institutionally racist” and not even 20 years later they cut all three staff members of the Metropolitan Black Police Association. Clearly, the Met believes racism doesn’t exist. If this is their opinion, how can they possibly be capable protecting our communities if they have entirely lost touch with reality? There is another possibility here though. That just as a report published a few years ago indicated that the force is itself racist, that this truth still holds. Cutting one, even two positions would be bad, but would at least indicate that the force is aware that the association is important. Furthermore, under these new cost-cutting plans, senior white officers will be asked to speak on behalf of this minority group, instead of more junior black officers. As a person of colour, myself I am struggling to suppress my own fear in order to think clearly and write more. This is an important story, and rightfully placed on the front page though a skim of all the UK’s newspaper headlines indicates this is the only paper to cover this story on the front page. A more accurate headline would use the word “silence” or “oppress” rather than “stifle”.
Topic of article: Consumer safety
Headline: DANGER TUMBLER DRYERS FURORE
Author(s): Sean Poulter, Consumer Affairs editor
Analysis: Over 750 UK fires have been caused by Whirlpool tumble dryers. Importantly these may also have been sold under Hotspot, Swan and Proline, between 2004 and 2015. The company has now warned consumers not to use the machines and there are on-going lawsuits against the US company. Interestingly, rather than take the stance of an important consumer alert, the paper would like to detail the rights of these families to full refunds. Of course both are important points, but shouldn’t safety take a president? No other information on which appliances are affected have been given on the front page. When does this fire risk occur? Should appliances also be unplugged? The newspaper published more on the topic on their website on Feb 10th, calling tumble dryers “Britain’s second-biggest cause of house fires..”, an article that took on much more of a concern for consumer safety.
Topic of article: University, education
Headline: Students to be offered degrees over two years
Author(s): Greg Hurst, Education editor
Analysis: In return for the right to raise tuition fees to £13 000, UK universities may offer 2 year degrees. The initially thought is that not only will students have to pay more for their education, but they will be paying for less. While the plans do include fewer and shorter holidays, overall teaching will be reduced. Furthermore, as the degrees are condensed, students will have less time to work to afford their education. This will only widen the differences between socioeconomic classes and ensure that only high income student will attend university. In the age of educational inflation, fast-track degrees only support the notion that undergraduate education is no longer valued and that more students are expected to have to complete further studies. A move that will allow universities to make more money off of students who are already struggling as it is. Why do an undergraduate degree at all? Let’s all just start university at a master’s level. No information on the front page is given to how these degrees will be viewed by other higher education institutions or employers abroad (where undergraduate degrees may take double the time), nor is any information given on which universities will offer these new degrees.
Front page images from: Tomorrow’s Papers Today. http://suttonnick.tumblr.com/
Reviewed by: Anjali Menezes