Friday 24th March 2017

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

The Sunsun_24 March

Topic of article: Terrorism, National security, Crime

 Headline: I’m off to London today.. it isn’t what it used to be

Author(s): Matt Wilkinson

Analysis: The man responsible for carrying out the terrorist attack at Westminster this past Wednesday. The content on the front page of today’s Sun is short. Khalid Masood stayed in a hotel near Brighton the night before his attack and the Sun appears to have interviewed some of the staff who work there. We can see a picture of the Masood being treated by medics after he was shot by police (he later died)- a small glimpse of a man many of us will never understand. I suppose the Sun takes an understandable approach to this story today, trying to make sense of the man now responsible for the deaths of four people. The tabloid today has added a line underneath their logo reading “We are not afraid”, beside a box titled “CHILLING FINAL WORDS OF EVIL TERRORIST”. We can see here that the Sun takes a “Them” vs “Us” approach by dispelling the UK resident as evil we never have to take the time to understand what lead him to orchestrate this attack. The Sun will have you believing that Masood was never one of us. The picture choice here reinforces this belief as we see a picture of a dying man on the front page of the Sun for the second day in a row and are told to see him as “evil” and not a human.

The Guardianguardian_750 24 March

Topic of article: Terrorism, National security, Crime

Headline: Killed by a homegrown terrorist

Author(s): Vikram Dodd (police and crime correspondent) ; Nazia Parveen (North of England correspondent); Ewen MacAskill; Jamie Grierson

Analysis: The article addresses some concerns over how a convict with a violent history who had been investigated by MI5 was deemed a low threat. The main body of text however focuses on the victims of the attack. The first aim of the article is to attempt to attribute some blame to security forces. However this is quickly overshadowed by the large pictures of the first three named victims who lost their lives after Wednesday’s attacks. We can begin to see a picture here now of how the choice of the exerts from the same speech given by Teresa May can lead to entirely different themes in today’s newspapers (see below). The  Guardian has chosen to include that May pointed out that the attacks have affected numerous nations with victims from 11 different countries which adds weight and a different significance to her message when she states “…we are not afraid…”. This article appears to simply take an “Us” approach as the headline points out that this was indeed a homegrown terrorist and the community response to support the victims was noted.  While the authors state that the IS have taken responsibility for the event, they also point out that no connection between them and Masood has been confirmed.

Daily Maildaily_mail_24 March

Topic of article: Terrorism, National security, Crime


Author(s): Paul Bently (Deputy Investigations Editor); Glen Keogh (news reporter); Sam Greenhill (Chief reporter)

Analysis: The Daily Mail has found numerous guides on the internet on how to carry out similar attacks to the one seen on Wednesday.  In an attempt to find answers following the Westminster attack, the Daily Mail has become outraged that the internet exists while Boris Johnson claims that social media incites terrorism. In a way the Daily Mail also takes a “Them” vs “Us” approach, though incredibly “Them” is actually the 21st century. The article also echoes other newspapers in raising concerns that MI5 deemed Masood as a low risk threat. On reading this front page, the Daily Mail would have you believe that the UK was oblivious to the fact that vehicles could be used as weapons against people. There is also another somewhat confusing message presented on this busy front page. As the only picture on the page is of the police officer killed by Masood as he fought his way through the gates, the authors still manage to glaze over this loss of life by stating that Masood simply “waltzed through” the gates.


The TimesThe Times 24 March

Topic of article:  Terrorism, National security, Crime

Headline: Killer was Muslim convert

Author(s): Fiona Hamilton (Crime & Security Editor); Richard Ford (Home Correspondent); Dominic Kennedy; John Simpson

Analysis: Much of the extensive front page text focusses on Khalid Masood’s upbringing and violent criminal history and the response by security forces. Interestingly The Times notes Masood’s birth name as Adrian Elms and appears to take that stance of attempting to understand the phenomena of home-grown terrorism. We can also see that in the process of trying to understand the events of the attack, the Times would also like to start attributing blame to the homeland security forces as Teresa May admits that Masood had previously been investigated by MI5 and was deemed a ‘low priority’. Considering the bulk of text, the choice of headline is a point to discuss. The headline is of the attacker being a Muslim convert while the body of the article points to his violent history. So the Times would like to exploit [our] prejudices and fears in an attention grabbing headline, while the authors’ own research points to the history of a deeply troubled man, regardless of what his religious beliefs may have been.


Front page images from: Kiokso (

Reviewed by: Anjali Menezes


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