Thursday 23rd March 2017

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

The Sunsun.750

Topic of article: Crime

Headline: Maniac who knifed Britain in the heart

Author(s): Unknown (Text obscured on all versions available)

Analysis: The article is dominated by the image of paramedics attending to the individual involved in the attack at Westminster yesterday. Unfortunately the text was not available in any versions available online but the headline gives some indication to the tone of the article. Firstly they indicate that Parliament and Westminster in London are considered the “heart” of Britain to some people whilst also describing the national and international sense of sadness at yesterday’s events. Moreover the use of “maniac” and the specific image chosen of the man on the stretcher during attempted resuscitation to provide oddly dissonant feelings of fear and sympathy. However this is more of fear as the paper probably uses “maniac” more to communicate the danger associated with the individual rather than to suggest empathy towards mental illness. The front page also uses the word “defiant” and phrase “we are not afraid” which has featured across the tabloid press today, indicating a sense of them-and-us with the use of “we” and a vagueness to who it is that we could be afraid of.


The Guardianguardian.750

Topic of article:  Crime

Headline: Terror in Westminster

Author(s): Vikram Dodd (Crime Correspondent), Ewen MacAskill (Defence and Intelligence Correspondent); Jamie Grierson (Breaking News Reporter); Heather Stewart (Joint Political Editor)

Analysis: The Guardian use their front page to detail yesterday’s events that took place on Westminster bridge and outside parliament including the specific route of the assailant. The article tends towards listing events and facts which gives it an official tone, emphasised by the three individuals who are quoted: Prime minister Theresa May, the leader of the House of Commons and the head of counter terrorism at Scotland Yard. This front page article doesn’t have much by way of detailed analysis though does include suggesting the intentions of the “terrorist” attack including that it appeared to be “a direct copy” of previous Islamic State attacks in Nice and Berlin and that the polices’ current thinking is that he was “inspired by Islamic State.” Moreover there is some hint at the recurrent rhetoric over whether this could have been prevented when the article says he “was already known to counter-terror officials.” The image chosen is of efforts made to save the life of the police officer who was stabbed; in contrast The Sun and Daily Mail chose images of the wounded “terrorist” on a stretcher.

Daily Maildaily_mail.750

Topic of article:  Crime

Headline: Day terror came to Westminster

Author(s): None (No text on front page)

Analysis: The newspaper leaves the front page to the image of the individual involved in yesterday’s actions, using the same image as The Sun. The caption describes how he “mowed down pedestrians” again using similar language to The Times and Guardian in their emotive description of yesterday’s events. The image is distressing, with the paramedics attempting to resuscitate the individual. Moreover the use of “terror came to Westminster” implies that this was a terrorist act and that the individual himself embodies and is terror, rather than the terror of his actions having roots in in extremist ideology, illness or anything else that may have influenced his actions.


The Timesthe_times.750

Topic of article: Crime

Headline: Assault on Westminster

Author(s): None(Only image on front page)

Analysis: The Times chooses to use an image of confusion instead of text on their front page story of the attack at Westminster yesterday. The paper also includes “Islamist mows down pedestrians and kills policeman.” The word “Islamist” isn’t defined or explained and leaves readers questioning or jumping to conclusions about what it means regarding the motives of the attacker. The use of “mows” also communicates a sense of brutality of the act. The choice of image is somewhat different from the other three papers, this image showing a chaotic scene with two separate areas of focus with armed police, security officials and individuals in suits who we might assume are people who work in parliament, standing around two individuals on the floor. The image embodies the sense of confusion and panic that was felt yesterday, including the police officer appearing to be running towards the camera. Moreover the image has been outlined, including the paper title, in black to indicate the sense of mourning of the lives lost.


Front page images from: BBC The Papers ( and Kiokso (

Reviewed by: Alice Edwards



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