Wednesday 15th March, 2017

Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times

The SunSun

Topic of article: Royal Celebrity

Headline: Throne Idle

Author(s): Emily Andrews (Royal Correspondent)

Analysis: Report on Prince William’s lack of attendance at royal events, especially when compared to the Queen’s. The article calls the claims a ‘scandal’, and says Prince William is being lazy and acting in a manner unfit for a future King. Even while his elderly and at times poorly grandmother has attended numerous events he has not, and now goes of skiing instead of acting royal, which is surely a terrible thing and a scandal. It does beg the question of why does it matter, but this is perhaps a larger issue to those who are more up-to-date with the happenings of the royal world. It is an indication of the British interest in the Royal family that the holidays of the prince are scrutinized so deeply, as well as perhaps an admittance that the Queen’s time is coming to an end, with a focus on the presumed successor and his ability to act ‘royal’. There was no comment from Prince William to defend his side.

The GuardianGuardian

Topic of article:  Politics, European Union

Headline: SNP tells May: there is still time for a deal

Author(s): Amushka Asthana (Joint Political Editor), Severin Carrell (Scotland Editor)

Analysis: Discuss the possibility of a second Scottish Independence Referendum and the reasons behind the conversation that began with Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement of a possible referendum. The headline of the article places the word SNP before May, and frames the remaining words as a challenge directed at May. By doing this, the article is setting the tone for its content, indicating that it is the SNP and Scotland that is dictating the terms of the conversation. With the Scottish government endorsing this proposed referendum vote and the SNP controlling the majority of the government the concerns voiced by Nicola Sturgeon must be taken seriously, the paper implies. What Scotland seems to offer to those who are opposed to Brexit is a vision of an alternative to simple acceptance of the Conservative’s anti-EU line. 48% of Britain voted to remain in the EU, and yet May and her government are determine to bring Britain 100% out of Europe, leaving many British feeling ignored a hopeless for the future of the country within the frame of a global community. Funny words to write, as they perhaps mirror the concerns voiced by many Leavers during the campaign, but certainly a reflection of the mood. But then there is Scotland, standing up to the unstoppable wave of Brexit that only seems to gather strength with every passing day. And the Guardian, with its pro-remain stance and left-leaning readership understands this and so reports these Scottish actions. The article itself does offer balanced opinion directly from both sides, being the only front-page that interviews a SNP politician and a member of the Scottish conservative party.

The Daily MailMail

Topic of article: Business, Technology

Headline: Shaming of Web Giants

Author(s): Daniel Martin (Policy Editor)

Analysis: Report on the recent Commons home affairs committee panel meeting that questioned the bosses of major Internet companies about their ability to police the content they present online. The headline contains the word ‘Shaming’ in bold, an evocative word that draws attention and evokes images of men with their heads in their hands. Although the actual process is hardly likely to have occurred in this manner, it does inform readers of the simplified purpose of the panel grilling and may ensure that more readers pay attention to the growing concern about policing hatred online. Some of the biggest companies on the Internet were at the meeting, although the paper does not report any of the companies responses to the accusations and questions, making a balanced opinion hard to formulate. Meanwhile the article does offer specific examples of the failings associated with the companies, allowing readers to better understand the examples of an issue that is the focus of the article. However, it is telling that the article does not offer a conversation on how to address these concerns, or analyse the larger issue of comprehending and policing the growing digital space. The paper is more concerned with reporting how these social media bosses were ‘lashed’ by MPs, allowing readers to be angry at the Internet companies without being offered a pathway to relieve this anger and address the issue.

The TimesTimes

Topic of article: Politics, European Union

Headline: Scots want to remain in UK, new poll reveals

Author(s): Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor), Lindsay McIntosh (Scottish Political Correspondent)

Analysis: Discuss the possibility of a second Scottish Independence Referendum and the reasons behind the conversation that began with Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement of a possible referendum. The headline proudly proclaims that a new poll reveals Scotland wants to stay in the UK – however this poll was conducted by the paper itself and as we will see from the article there is no small amount of bias in the framing of the independence question, bringing up questions about the validity of the poll. In some ways it feels as if the poll has been conducted to quiet fears from within the UK, not to truly gauge the mood of Scotland. It feels like one of those pep-talks you give yourself before going into an exam, and perhaps reflects a general concern around the Scottish stance on Brexit. While this poll may be an accurate reflection of the Scottish people’s opinions the framing of the issue reflects an ingrained belief in Britain that Scotland is purely a provincial outpost of the mainland and should know when its beaten (cough Braveheart cough). Ms. Sturgeon ‘ambushed May, and ‘suggested May was not elected by anyone’. Strong words in defence of the Prime Minister for a paper that has been critical of May’s handling of Brexit as recently as last week. But it seems that when the small country to the North threatens Britain then everyone is offended, its like when the big brother says ‘yeah I make fun of my little brother but no one else is allowed to’. It seems to reflect a lack of respect for Scotland, but also a growing concern that the Independence vote will go ahead. The paper reports on May’s sending of two top minister to Scotland, as a sign of her ‘seriousness’, although they will not meet with any SNP members, making me question her ‘seriousness’. Altogether, the article does not interview any members of parliament, on either side, and uses a manufactured poll done by the paper, without proper references, in an attempt to allay fears for Scottish independence and prove that Britain is still strong.

Front page images from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers

Reviewed by: Sam Hewitt

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