Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Entertainment; Royal Family
Headline: What wills Kate say?
Author(s): Nick Parker (Chief Foreign Correspondent)
Analysis: The article reports that there is camera footage of Prince William “dirty dancing” with his “pal” “Aussie model Sophie” on a skiing weekend with friends. Within the past 24 hours The Sun has supported the sharing of a video of Prince William “dad dancing” to a response of hilarity and fondness on the internet, however this article indicates a change in direction of analysis. This is because there is apparently further video of him “gyrating with a blonde” as she does a “raunchy slut drop dance.” The general feeling of the article is one intended to embarrass Prince William, by citing his age, using the main image of Sophie Taylor and making numerous references to his wife Kate. Considering the specific dance moves and how to interpret them, or whether they are even worth interpreting, the paper doesn’t provide much information or even provide evidence in its favoured blurred stills. There is also the significant issue of how the article describes the “2 beauties”, uses the image of Taylor and describes her “slut dropping” which altogether is intended to give a negative impression of her and her friend in addition to the articles disapproval of Prince William.
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: Election cash claims hit up to 20 Tory MPs
Author(s): Rowena Mason (Deputy Political Editor); Heather Stewart (Joint Political Editor)
Analysis: The article describes how some Conservative MPs may face prosecution after breaking local spending limits during the election. The article suggests that this was potentially a widespread problem with “up to 20 Tory MPs” being confirmed by citing numerous police forces who have sent information to prosecutors and giving individual examples of MPs including David Morris ((Morecambe and Lunesdale), Craig Mackinlay (South Thanet) and Will Quince (Colchester.) There is also a lengthy quote from a senior CNP MP, Pete Wishart, which is highly critical of the Conservatives including suggesting that they “fraudulently won with a coordinated breach of electoral legislation.” Moreover there is a sense of real risk for the Conservatives as the article highlights that if these election results are made void then by-elections in 2018/19 as “Brexit negotiations draw to a conclusion” would be unfortunate timing. Although the article gives some description of investigations into some MPs being dropped, the overall tone is accusatory and has little in defence of these MPs or context regarding other parties electoral spending.
Topic of article: Crime
Headline: Abandoned by top brass…saved by you
Author(s): Unknown (not provided on the front page)
Analysis: The article describes how the charges of Blackman have been downgraded from murder to manslaughter at the Court Martial Appeal Court. This is a victory follow-up for the Mail’s campaign to “save” marine Alexander Blackman who they felt was wrongfully charged for murder due to shooting a “wounded Taliban insurgent” and then “left to rot in jail.” The paper pits itself and its readers, and now the “five top judges” against “top brass” and “Establishment” who supposedly “deserted” Blackman and did not support him in his Court Martial Appeal. How feasible it would have been for the military bosses to support the appeal is not made clear. The article also uses a smiling photograph of Blackman’s “loyal wife Clare” to emphasise the good the campaign did in raising £800,000 for his legal battle and further how callous the “Establishment” should be seen. The article requires some prior knowledge of the case, though the Mail has covered the case so extensively most daily readers would be aware of more details and potentially have financial investment considering the £800,000 raised. There are no cited sources in the article or details of the specifics of the case.
Topic of article: Politics; Economics
Headline: May forces Hammond into U-turn over budget
Author(s): Francis Elliot (Political Editor); Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor)
Analysis: The article describes the “U-turn” that the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, has had to make regarding the rise in national insurance contributions (NIC) outlined in his budget last week. Effectively the article can be summarised in its phrase “political turmoil” as it makes clear effort to depict a divided party, with many unnamed “insiders” and “ministerial sources” providing evidence for this. The story of May and “No 10 aides” “strong arming” Hammond into changing his decision dominates but the article also describes the “rebel Tory MPs” and both Liam Fox and David Davis “squabbled openly” during the day. Overall the details of the NIC payments aren’t described, as they have been exhaustively, but instead the focus is the internal politics of the Conservatives including clear suggestion that May lacked authority and control over her ministers. There is very little by way of cited sources, presumably due to confidentiality, or of views from outside the party.
Reviewed by: Alice Edwards