Thursday 23rd November 2017

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

The SunBTH sun 23.11

Topic of article: Entertainment

Headline: Jungle Jack Sacked

Author(s): Hannah Hope

Analysis: Jack Maynard has left TV show I’m a Celebrity, following media allegations of racism, homophobia, and, most recently, requesting topless photos from a 14-year-old. The Sun appears to have focused on this story rather than the budget because they were behind the investigation into Maynard’s online racist and homophobic comments. From the article, it is not made very clear that these comments (and request for topless photos) took place 6 years ago, when Maynard was 16, rather than being recent events – the only reference to his age is that he was a “teenager”. Only the journalist’s voice is present on the front page, along with a fairly small picture of Maynard, taken during the 72 hours he was on the show, and a substantially larger picture of Georgia “Toff” Toffolo, who is also appearing on the show, in a bikini. The promise of more pictures, accompanying the rest of Maynard’s story, is given.

The GuardianBTH guardian 23.11

Topic of article:  Economics

Headline: Hammond struggles to lift the gloom

Author(s): Heather Stewart (Economics Editor) and Larry Elliott (Economics Editor)

Analysis: This article comments on the budget, which was announced yesterday. The focus is on the “big downgrade in UK economic growth prospects” which have been forecasted by the Office for Budget Responsibility, which the authors suggest overshadow the specifics of the budget. The article focuses on some of the highlights of the budget, including the cuts to stamp duty for first-time buyers, the increases of funding for the NHS and housing, and the funding for Brexit preparations. As the title suggests, the authors place the specifics of the budget in the context of “the gloom” of Brexit, and the expected impact this will have on the economy. An anti-Brexit sentiment is evident in this article, as is expected of the Guardian. Hammond is quoted sparingly, and several MPs’ voices are included. This is done in a balanced way, with the reactions of multiple parties and pro/anti-Brexit voices being captured. It is suggested that Conservatives and Brexiteers were largely pleased with the budget, as captured through the voice of MP Cheryl Gillian, who expressed that additional funding for Brexit would be a “welcome change”, while critical perspectives on the budget are also noted, such as the view of shadow chancellor John McDonell, who argues that the budget does not signify a change from previous budgets, and will not help to improve people’s lives. The atmosphere of the article is captured nicely in the accompanying image, which shows a “head-scratching” Hammond, suggesting the struggle he had in delivering the budget in the face of weak economic growth in the UK.

The Daily MailBTH daily mail 23.11

Topic of article: Economics

Headline: Eeyore no more!

Author(s): Jason Groves (Political Editor)

Analysis: The Mail announce their shift of opinion on Hammond in this article, who they had previously nicknamed “Eeyore”, the famously gloomy Winnie the Pooh character, following the budget announcement yesterday. The article suggests that Hammond succeeds in presenting an “upbeat” budget, and focuses on the apparent positives. The author goes as far as to proclaim the announced stamp duty changes as a “lifeline” for “a million first-time buyers”, although this change has been criticised elsewhere as actually benefitting existing homeowners. As described by the Guardian, Hammond’s budget measures are viewed as trying to respond to pressure to end austerity as well as pressure from Eurosceptics. This article considers Hammond’s measures as bringing austerity “to a screeching halt”, suggesting he has gone on a spending “spree” and accusing him of “largesse”, despite the additional money arguably being insuffient to meet demands (as in the case of the NHS). The article is a largely positive, if not slightly admonishing, take on the budget, which is particularly pleased with what it sees as Hammond’s “Brexit optimism”. Only the author’s voice is heard.

The TimesBTH times 23.11

Topic of article: Economics

Headline: Hammond eases off austerity

Author(s): Francis Elliot (Political Editor)

Analysis: The Times’ front page also focuses on the budget, promising “20 pages of news, analysis and comment” within. As with the Daily Mail, the Times view the new budget as demonstrating a relaxing of austerity measures, focusing on what Hammond’s decisions will cost. The poor economic forecast is noted, but unlike The Guardian the focus is the impact this will have on the deficit rather than Brexit, although Brexit “uncertainty” is given as a reason for the poor forecast. The author suggests that the poor economic forecast coupled with increased public spending will cause borrowing to “balloon”, and casts doubt on Hammond’s commitment to clear the deficit by the middle of the next decade. Overall the article has a tone of concern over the state of the UK’s economy and the budgetary decisions Hammond has made. The article includes statistics from the Office for Budget Responsibility, focusing on the predicted UK growth for the next 5 years, and direct quotes from Hammond, but no other voices are included.

 

Front page images from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers and  http://en.kiosko.net/uk/np/sun.html

Reviewed by: Evelyn Jager

 

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