Friday 17th March 2017
Papers Reviewed: The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Politics, Brexit, Scottish independence
Headline: Sturgeon: May has sealed the fate of the UK
Author(s): Severin Carrell and Heather Stewart
Analysis: Prime minister Theresa May has rejected Nicola Sturgeon’s request for a new Scottish independence referendum; Sturgeon claims the decision to be “completely outrageous and unacceptable”. The article begins with a catchy line about how the PM is accused of an “outrageous attempt to block independence referendum”, while painting the picture of a May deliberately going against the will of the Scottish people. The first few paragraphs are littered with numerous Strugeon quotes, who is understandably upset about the decision. Let all keep in mind that the people of Scotland voted to be part of the UK when that still meant being part of the EU. However, we only really begin to get a glimpse of the whole picture by the end of the article, with some extra little tid-bits of information about how a series of opinion polls have indicated that a large majority of Scottish voters don’t even want a referendum before Brexit takes place. So maybe May isn’t an evil PM angrily squashing out any thoughts of independence? Of course I’m not trying to take any sides here. There is a gloriously paternalistic quote included in the article about how May only wanted to give the voters time to think about their decisions. But its interesting how the facts in this piece have been rearranged to paint an interesting picture of the PM.
Topic of article: NHS, gender
Headline: WILL THE SHAME OF OUR MIXED WARDS EVER END?
Author(s): Sophie Borland, Health Editor
Analysis: The number of patients who have been put on “mixed-sex” hospital wards has continued to rise. Goodness me, the Daily Mail thinks that gender is binary! (Or appears to). Yes, feeling unwell in a hospital bed is hard enough without having to be with the opposite sex (or gender….but what is opposite anyways?). Lets clear some facts that the author of this article has failed to do. There are curtains surrounding each bed on these wards which you can choose to continuously have drawn if you wish. There are also limited resources in the NHS. Gender is a social construct that is non-binary. Gender is how you self-identify. You may identify as a female. You may identify as a male. You may identify as neither of these or both of these. You may identify as everything and anything in between. So how many wards do we need to accommodate all of these genders? And if you are agender, were should you go? Truth be told I have spent a lot of time visiting friends and family members in hospital and I have never seen a ward full of naked hospital patients. So why should be care if the genitals of patients on the same hospital wards match? When would they ever need to be compared? Sadly the Daily Mail was unable to answer my questions.
Topic of article: Public funds, hate speech
Headline: Taxpayers fund extremism
Author(s): Alexi Mostrous, Head of Investigations
Analysis: Advertisements for government agencies such as the Home Office have been making appearances on various YouTube videos posted by controversial speakers, such as white nationalists and a former KKK imperial wizard and a so far unnamed rape apologist. The advertisements are paid for from tax-dollars and for every thousand of so views that these advertisements get, the Youtubers get a cut of the profits. It sounds very sketchy on the surface, but essentially Youtube makes money through advertisements that we must all watch before we see some of the videos on the site. If a Youtuber can make a popular video (ie garner loads of views) then the advertisement is also seen loads of times, and as a thank you, the Youtuber will make some money. But when you consider some of the hate speech spewing from some these videos, which are then almost branded by the Home Office of Royal Navy advertisements, the result is very, very bad. Thankfully the government has apparently halted all such advertisement funding until “assurances” have been made by Google (who owns YouTube). No word yet as to what sort of videos would be deemed acceptable. This headline is alarming, and it takes a few paragraphs before one can see just how we are funding this extremism. The story is further sensationalised by closely following the dreaded word with the term “campaigns”. Though I for one am grateful for the authors holding these government agencies accountable for their unethical advertising! And of course this important story is overshadowed by a cute picture of a cat holding a mouse on the front page reading “Game of cat and mouse continues in Downing Street”. Really? Really??
Front page images from: Kiokso ( http://en.kiosko.net/uk/)
Reviewed by: Anjali Menezes