Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times
Topic of article: Home affairs
Headline: Terrorists cushty life on benefits in Peckham
Author(s): Matt Wilkinson and Dan Sales
Analysis: The article attempts to inform its readers about a formerly convicted terrorist who is now on UK benefits. This is a great example of The Sun’s poor journalism. The author appears to want to create a divisive sentiment in its readers. Its title and very short article on the front page creates a divisive rhetoric promoting an ‘us’ vs ‘them’ attitude. The Sun fails to inform its reader about the circumstances of this man and why he can’t be sent back to Iran. Perhaps there is a legitimate reason why he cannot go back and it would be unfair to deprive this man of his basic needs. Naming this man and putting a picture of him on the front page, can only bring about negative consequences for him, which seems very unfair as he must be out of prison after having served his sentence. The Sun fails us to show this side of the story. Instead, as usual, it portrays a one-sided news story which is detrimental for a compassionate society. Why does The Sun, day-to-day, choose to shy away from its duty of proper journalism? One possible suggestion could be that perhaps it has a lot to gain from creating and promoting a divisive rhetoric.
Topic of article: Politics
Headline: May fights accusation of botched and humiliating start to Brexit talks
Author(s): Dan Roberts, Rajeev Syal and Daniel Boffey
Analysis: The article informs its readers about the Downing street dinner that occurred with Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commission chief. This report makes Theresa May look unfavourable. Although the Prime Minister dismisses this as “Brussels gossip”, it appears quite clearly that Brexit negotiations have not begun very well. The report claims that Mr Juncker left saying “I’m leaving Downing Street 10 times more sceptical than I was before”. In contrast, the author appears to describe the EU as organised and with a clear plan in mind. The Guardian has used an unnamed, first hand source to describe the events the negotiation dinner. Overall, this is quite a damning and unwelcoming report for the Conservatives. These events undermine the repetitive and unsubstantiated message, a strong and stable leadership, that Theresa May and her party have been using to promote themselves in the election campaign.
The Daily Mail
Topic of article: Health
Headline: Exploited by cash-for-eggs IVF clinics
Author(s): Paul Bentley and Sara Smyth
Analysis: The article informs its readers about Women on low incomes that are being exploited for their eggs. The title, covering almost half the page, and the labelling of this story with “Investigations Unit” is very attention grabbing. It seems that the Daily Mail is exposing an unethical practice from IVF clinics, by showing its readers that IVF clinics are telling its patients that “an egg isn’t a baby” and that doctors could trade their “eggs for cash and use the money to fund her (their) treatment”. Although this appears unethical, the Daily Mail does not show its readers whether these are isolated incidents or whether this is widespread practice. This makes it difficult to put it into perspective. Fertility can be a very sensitive subject which aids the Daily Mail in creating a tone of injustice. The author fails to paint a bigger picture and does not give some background on the cuts in funding for IVF treatment which could put this news story in perspective.
Topic of article: Economy, industry
Headline: Fears for car market amid loan mis-selling
Author(s): Harry Wilson (City editor)
Analysis: The article informs its reader about the potential of a loan mis-selling scandal where 90% of new cars are sold through finance deals, even to those with a poor credit history. The Times appears to be one of the first journalist group to report on a potential imminent scandal. The market has been fraught with loans being mis-sold, from mortgages to PPI and now this. This can have significant consequences to businesses, employees and subsequently families. The author uses ‘experts’ and ‘analysts’ as sources but apart from one source, he does not quote them or name them, which detracts from the reliability of the article. Although the article portrays a doom and gloom scenario, it mentions that there is an investigation at the moment which will intervene if there is any wrongdoing. It seems that, unregulated, businesses will do anything for profit and mis-sell loans to customers, with the poorest usually more commonly affected.
Front page images from: http://en.kiosko.net/uk/
Reviewed by: Bruno Gnaneswaran