Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Business
Headline: Quids on the skids
Author(s): Rohdri Phillips (Business Editor)
Analysis: Inform readers about the faults and breaks in the new pound coins in circulation. The Sun uses its business editor to tell everyone that the new pound coin is flawed and reported to break with alarming frequency. Why this needs a business editor is beyond me but the paper does revel in the government’s failings, despite a long standing support of everything the Conservatives do, although the Royal Mint is perhaps a bit more a-political and so fair game. The subject of the article is aimed at the average reader who doesn’t want to read about the politics being reported around the rest of the media. It’s perfect stuff to read about, laugh and move on with one’s life.
Topic of article: Politics, EU
Headline: I’ll be bloody difficult in EU talks, says PM
Author(s): Anushka Asthana (Joint Political Editor), Jennifer Rankin (Brussels Correspondent)
Analysis: Report on Theresa May’s reaction to the leaked transcripts of her lunch with the European Commission President Juncker and the on-going disagreements about upcoming negotiations surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU. The Guardian features a headline which not-so-subtly implies that Mrs. May is a difficult woman and will make the upcoming EU negotiations harder than they could be. The Guardian is a strong supporter of the Remain campaign and Labour, so uses this story as a vehicle for presenting the disarray that exists with the Conservatives’ plans for Britain leaving the EU, their current relationship with the EU ministers and leaders and the failures of May’s leadership. The article details criticism of May from numerous fronts, in the EU and from the liberal democrats, and uses strong words such as ‘disastrous’, ‘attack’ and ‘blood difficult’ to create the image of a process going up in flames. The article also features an unnamed source reporting from the government’s side and offering their side of the story. This helps in balancing the reporting but also ends up effectively juxtaposing the viewpoints and stance of the EU leaders with that of May and her cabinet, showing the numerous dissimilarities between them. It is not meant to encourage us. Alongside the article the Guardian has also included a string of photos aimed at embarrassing May, showing her eating chips in an odd way while evoking the scandal from the previous general election of Miliband eating a bacon sandwich. Not quite as effective without a plea for everyone to ‘keep this man out’ but certainly an attempt by the paper to harness some of those emotions.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Health
Headline: IVF clinics peddling false hope over egg freezing
Author(s): Katherine Faulk (Executive Features Editor), Paul Bentley (Daily Mail Investigations Editor), Sara Smyth (Daily Mail Investigations Unit)
Analysis: Inform the readers about a recent investigation by the Mail that showed an IVF clinic had over-exaggerated the fertility success rate of freezing ovarian eggs. The Mail has gathered this story through exclusive, undercover investigation and they make sure that every reader knows this by branding their reporters part of an ‘investigations unit’ – this shows people that this paper not only reports news but makes it, and can be trusted to expose all the terrible crimes that wouldn’t otherwise be punished. Before the article is even discussed though it does seem odd that their undercover reporter faked a fertility need, despite many women waiting months for these appointments. The article continues to say that the reporter was told false information and claims that this represents a wide-spread problem. Yet there is no evidence in this front-page that this was anything more than a single dishonest doctor. The main aim of the article may be to shock and anger readers so that they are aware of the problem and perhaps gather enough public outcry to induce change, but the paper reports that there is already an investigation into the findings. The article does not include any comments from the hospitals regarding the facts and so both sides are not reported effectively.
Topic of article: Politics, EU
Headline: You can’t lead Brexit talks, EU tells May
Author(s): Oliver Wright (Policy Editor), Bruno Waterfield (Brussels Reporter)
Analysis: Report on the EU’s stance on negotiations for the upcoming exit talks and May’s comments regarding them. The headline of the article is meant to represent the EU’s new tough line stance in negotiations. Coming after May had reportedly promised to personally supervise and engage in EU talks, the article compares this with the EU’s understanding of the process and shows readers how much disparity there is in the two sides. While May attempts to make the election about who will represent Britain in negotiations, she does not seem to understand the basic regulations surrounding the process, the paper seems to say. Relationships are awkward and strained as May attempts to take the lead and push her agenda while the EU consistently rebuts her comments. This effectively presents a picture of confusion and disarray in the government, all while it puts a strong face on for the British public. And yet the manner in which the EU negotiations are reported are always setting Britain against the EU, an us vs. them mentality that has worked so well in galvanising the public that sometimes you wonder whether instead of horrifying people with ineptitude these articles in fact only serve to make the EU seem even more autocratic?
Front page images from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers
Reviewed by: Sam Hewitt