Friday 18th August 2017

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

The Sunthe sun

Topic of article: Crime

Headline: Barcalona Bastards

Author(s): Jonathan Reilly (Senior Reporter)

Analysis: The Sun chooses the image of the individual lying on the pavement with two police officers standing over them to dominate their front page. The article is highly emotive and focusses on creating anger towards the individual “maniac driver” who “mows down tourists” including the details that “one terrorist killed, two held.” In its short description, he paper includes that the La Ramblas area of Barcalona is “popular with British visitors” heightening the sense of fear in that British people and families are not safe when they are on their summer holidays. The sources for the information are not provided and there are no quotes included within the article, though we are left to assume the figures for those injured and information regarding the arrests are from the Spanish emergency services and police. There is no description of Islamic State claiming responsibility for the attack on this front page. The coverage of the attack is present on pages 4-7 inside the paper.


The Guardianthe guardian

Topic of article:  Crime

Headline: Terror strikes Barcalona

Author(s): Giles Tremlett (Madrid), Sam Jones, Jennifer Rankin (Brussels)

Analysis: The Guardian describes the Las Ramblas attack in detail and provides a contextual perspective, describing the similarities with attacks in France, Germany, Sweden and the UK. The article provides a detailed description of the scene in Barcalona, emphasising that this was intended to injure tourists due to this being the height of holiday season and it being one of the most popular roads in Barcalona. Furthermore it also provides tragic elements such as “several pushchairs could be seen abandoned at the side of the street.” The article includes quotes from a number of eye witnesses including an off-duty nurse and communicates a scene of panic and confusion with “rumours flew around the city” describing how people were unsure of what to do. The image chosen for the article is of two police officers standing over an individual who is lying on the pavement with their hands over their eyes. There is less description of Islamic State within the article apart from that they claimed responsibility for the attack. They do provide some background regarding Oukabir, who has now been arrested, including his photograph and describing that he is believed to be from North Africa but is a resident in Spain. The coverage of the attack is present on pages 3 to 5.

Daily Maildaily mail

Topic of article: Crime

Headline: Massacre of holiday families

Author(s): Vanessa Allen (News Reporter)

Analysis: The article focusses on describing the chaotic scene at Las Ramblas yesterday afternoon. The horror of those there having to flee for their lives and “broken bodies lay in pools of blood” with “prams and toys” also on the floor is described in full, instilling fear in the reader. There is little detailed description of the facts such as that Isis have claimed responsibility for the attack, suggesting that this front page was sent to print earlier than the other papers and hence why it focuses on setting the terrible scene rather than more detail. There is also a clear impression that “British holiday-makers” may be amongst those injured in the attack as it is a popular destination and therefore implies that people aren’t even safe on their family holiday. Where the information is from in the article is not detailed and no quotes are provided. The image chosen is the same as that in The Sun and The Guardian and includes an inset of the arrested individual Driss Outkabir. The coverage continues inside the paper on page 4.


The Timesthe times

Topic of article: Crime

Headline: Evil strikes again

Author(s): Adam Sage, Charles Bremner, Sarah Morris, Fiona Hamilton (Barcalona)

Analysis: The Times describes what is known about the attack in Barcalona, including details about the arrest of Driss Oukabir. The article provides a detailed description of the event including the current death toll and number injured. The story appears to be evolving as many questions remain unresolved including whether the suspect who was shot dead by police trying to drive out of the city was the driver of the van involved. The Times discusses that this attack was the first by Islamic State in Spain, and that previous attacks in Barcalona had been related to Basque separatist groups. The article includes quotes from Amaq (the Islamic State news agency), the Spanish police, a tourist who was present at the scene and tweets from King Felipe of Spain and Trump and part of the official statement from Theresa May (full available here: The image chosen is of a family group surrounding an individual on the floor with some security staff also around them.  Their descriptions relating to Islamic State are the word “evil” in the headline, the quote from Amaq explaining that the attack targeted Spain as it was a “coalition state” with the U.S. fighting against them. The coverage of the attack is present on pages 2-5 and page 31.


Front page images from: BBC The Papers (

Reviewed by: Alice Edwards


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