Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Sport, Crime
Headline: Barkley’s Spank
Author(s): Sarah Ridley
Analysis: The article is informing its readers about Ross Barkley, a premiership footballer, being attacked in a night club. Whilst matters that could be interpreted as more important are happening around the world and in England, The Sun chooses to report on a person being attacked in a nightclub. The Sun often appears to report celebrity news on its front pages, one can speculate why it choses to do this and it is perhaps important to explore why it choses to do this despite it being the most read newspaper in the country. The only information being presented is the fact that he was punched because he was potentially eyeing up the perpetrator’s girlfriend. There are no quotes from the Police, the perpetrator or the victim.
Topic of article: Health
Headline: Scotland leads the way with anti-HIV drug
Author(s): Sarah Boseley (Health editor)
Analysis: The article is informing its readers about the decision made in Scotland for its NHS to give HIV drugs to those at risk, which will prevent them from acquiring the HIV infection. The language and tone used by the author is one of victory and triumph. A large number of the quotes used are taken from those who were campaigning for this preventative measure to be implemented in Scotland’s NHS. The article contrasts this decision made in Scotland to the current situation in England. NHS England has not implemented this and the author explores this with a critical tone “NHS England has resisted rolling out PrEP because of its cost, although it is a lot cheaper than a lifetime of HIV treatment”. The quotes it has used also expresses concern that this has not occurred in England yet. Lastly, the author in the last couple of paragraphs has shown potential reasons why this has not yet been rolled out in England, such as the potential for rare cancers not receiving funding or the rather unsubstantiated premise that it could lead to “increased promiscuity”.
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: 539 town fall fat cats rake in more than PM
Author(s): Daniel Martin (Policy editor)
Analysis: The Daily Mail informs its readers about town hall bosses being paid more than the Prime Minister despite rises in council tax. The author uses strong language and a condemning tone to report this, words such as “fat cats”, “damning” etc are being used. The author appears to want to evoke a sense of anger and the Daily Mail does this quite often when its reports have consequences on taxes. However, the Daily Mail makes a valid point that perhaps instead of increasing council tax and “cutting frontline services” it could curb “frivolous” executive salaries. Despite these valid points, the author does not present or explore why these ‘fat cats’ are earning such a salary. There are no quotes to represent the other side of the story to depict the whole story – an aspect of journalism that the Daily Mail is very consistent with.
Topic of article: Health
Headline: Scotland gets cancer drug that is too expensive for England
Author(s): Chris Smyth (Health editor)
Analysis: The Times informs its readers about a life-extending breast cancer drug being approved to be used in Scotland, as well as a HIV drug despite this not being possible in England. The manner in which the author is approaching this news is by comparing what has happened in Scotland to the current situation in England. It mentions that “English taxpayers would not up with subsidising treatments in Scotland that they could not get themselves”. The author also evokes a sense of unfairness and injustice by comparing the expenditure on those living in Scotland and those living in England “English and Welsh taxpayers contribute more to Scottish health spending through the Barnett formula”. Lastly, it uses a quote from a spokeswoman of Breast Cancer Care that plays on human emotion and further emphasises a sense of injustice. Although the author mentions that NHS England has not approved the drug because of costs it has not included quotes from NHS England or NICE, nor has it explored any other reason why this has happened. It is also interesting to note that The Times has chosen to focus on a breast cancer drug compared to the approval of a HIV drug as displayed on The Guardian’s front page. Could this be because of the stigma still surrounding HIV?
Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/
Reviewed by: Bruno Gnaneswaran