Wednesday March 29th, 2017

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

The SunSun

Topic of article: European Union, Brexit

Headline: Dover & out

Author(s): The Sun

Analysis: Report on the upcoming triggering of Article 50 and the beginning of negotiations for Britain to leave the EU. The Sun channels nationalism and features the iconic White Cliffs of Dover on their frontpage, with a message printed on it, presumably so large that the French could read it from Normandy. The article is celebratory in nature, claiming the day as a momentous one for Britain, one in which the country will finally escape the tyranny of the EU. There is no analysis of the challenges lying ahead during the negotiations, but rather a sunny ignorance and hope that all will end up alright and we didn’t every really need the EU did we? The paper likes to refer to the EU as ‘our neighbours’ in a patronising way, the kind you wave at as you open the door in the evening but would never accept an invitation to their barbecue because, well you just don’t like the look of them. Gone is all concern for reporting the news with balance in mind, but rather the pushing of a nationalistic agenda that sees a prosperous future ahead despite any real knowledge of how this will be achieved.

The GuardianGuardian

Topic of article: European Union, Brexit

Headline: Today, Britain steps into the unknown

Author(s): Anushka Asthana (Joint Political Editor), Rowena Mason (Deputy Political Editor)

Analysis: Report on the upcoming triggering of Article 50 and the beginning of negotiations for Britain to leave the EU. The Guardian has long been an advocate for the Remain side in the EU debate and once again affirms this stance, using a large graphic of Europe as a puzzle with Britain removed. Possibly interpretable as a way of showing that while the unity of Europe is a puzzle that must be pieced together, the disappearance of Britain does not actually degrade the overall integrity of the whole. It is also a reminder that we do not fully know what will come in the following years, with a cautionary quote printed in bold as the headline, proclaiming that Britain now steps into the unknown. And while the unknown can be a place to find oneself and gain a better understanding, the focus of the article is heavily on the potential for chaos and discord in the unknown. There is talk of the historical context of the previous EU agreements, entered into by the major European powers following World War II. This is a way for the paper to remind readers how the EU came to be formed – it was not just an arbitrary grouping of countries in order to enslave them to Brussels, as many papers would have you believe, but a relationship that held the area together following years of turmoil. And in the future, as it develops, the Guardian does not see a new dawn but rather the extension of arguments already firmly entrenched among the opposing sides in the Government, within the Conservative party and the public. This is a country divided and the deliverance of Britain’s EU exit is unlikely to mend things, despite all the calls for solidarity from those that campaigned on a platform of divisiveness.

The Daily MailMail

Topic of article: European Union, Brexit

Headline: Freedome

Author(s): N/A

Analysis: Report on the upcoming triggering of Article 50 and the beginning of negotiations for Britain to leave the EU, as well as on the recent acquittal of a British marine who was charged with the murder of an unarmed and injured opposition fighter. The paper places the headline in all capitals so that it dominates the front page – FREEDOM. The triggering of article 50 is seen as Britain getting out of the tyrannical clutches of the EU as if it has been suffering under the weight of chains for the past 50 years. The PM is shown signing the letter that ‘tells EU: we’re out’. This presents the issue as Britain taking the upper hand, dictating the time and terms of its departure from the EU, with little regard for the complexities involved in these negotiations. It is a simplification of the process that ensures readers will feel they can understand the issue and regard their opinions as well informed, despite a complete lack of knowledge. Then who needs those liberal elites who have spent their lives studying the economy and political negotiations? It is a dumbing down of the politics of this country and world. By also reporting on the acquittal of Marine A the paper attempts to show it is championing the good British values of freedom, justice and fighting for your country.

The TimesTimes

Topic of article: European Union, Brexit

Headline: The eyes of history are watching

Author(s): Francis Elliot (Political Editor), Oliver Wright (Policy Editor)

Analysis: Report on the upcoming triggering of Article 50 and the beginning of negotiations for Britain to leave the EU. The Times focuses on the historical implications of the signing of Article 50, framing Theresa May with the letter under a painting of the first PM of England. A PM who famously (apparently) was quoted explaining why he kept Britain out of the wars of Europe. An admiral sentiment, for a time when there was perpetual war on the mainland, but surely a sign of the manner in which much of the media has approached the imminent departure from the EU – that of a once great country who had got along just fine outside of European control and one that could do just fine again. And yet there is a lack of analysis and understanding of the changing nature of global politics and trade deals that renders this argument somewhat obsolete. The Times attempts to put a comforting spin on the proceedings as well, quoting May as she attempts to ‘draw a line’ under the recent disagreements and promises a bright future. This type of argument attempts to silence the critics by saying ‘look we have promised a better future, why can’t we all be friends now’, all the while ignoring their divisive actions that brought people to this point. The article acknowledges the challenges lying ahead but consistently goes back to the sweet promises made by the government that ‘all will be fine’.

Front page images from:

Reviewed by: Sam Hewitt



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