VIEWPOINTS 4: Our thoughts on the 2017 UK general election.

Its been a long election. At BTH we aim to analyse, discuss and explore the aim, agenda, and bias of international, national and local newspapers to as many members of the public as possible. Still, each of our writers bring their own opinions and biases in the work that we do, in our analysis, and how we interpret the news. This invariably affects the work we produce, and so in the name of full transparency, today we give you a glimpse of our opinions and worldviews.

Last, but not least, we bring you the thoughts of Bruno Gnaneswaran, a co-founder of Between the Headlines.

I have been unable to vote in the last three general elections despite desperately wanting to and having the urge to. I want to be involved in the democratic process that will have huge consequences on my life and the life of others. Our current society is crying for change. In order to have real change, in order to have a truly representative parliament and government, we need to have a serious discussion on our out-dated first-past-the-post voting system. The current voting system is not fair, undemocratic and ensures that not all votes count equally. During the last general election, 74% of our votes were wasted and did not make a difference to the outcome. Every vote should count equally.
The media has a significant influence on this democratic process and here at BTH we believe that although the media is incredibly important, it needs to be held accountable when it is not delivering reliable, accurate and truly representative journalism. My personal ideologies and policies are not in line with the Conservatives and I am very pleased to see the right-wing media, despite its strong efforts, has not stopped Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour manifesto to show what policies are needed to help fight social injustice. Britain is the fifth largest economy in the world and instead of helping those who are already wealthy, lets have a government and society that helps those who are vulnerable and provides equal opportunities for all. Lets have a better education system for our children, a functioning health and social care system and adequate policing to keep us safe.
This was a nasty, individualistic and chaotic campaign run by Theresa May and we need to remind those that represent us that this is not what we ask of our politicians. Today, the people have made their voices heard – this is not what we want from our leaders. We do not care about personalities, we care about policies. We want politicians that want to help fight the serious inequalities that exists here in the U.K. and throughout the world. Today has shown us there is a momentum and a wish for a more equal, just and compassionate society.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this special edition. Next week we return to our analysis newspaper headlines.
We always welcome new writers, so drop us an e-mail if you are interested in joining our team.

VIEWPOINTS 3: Our thoughts on the 2017 UK general election

Its been a long election. At BTH we aim to analyse, discuss and explore the aim, agenda, and bias of international, national and local newspapers to as many members of the public as possible. Still, each of our writers bring their own opinions and biases in the work that we do, in our analysis, and how we interpret the news. This invariably affects the work we produce, and so in the name of full transparency, today we give you a glimpse of our opinions and worldviews.

Below we bring you the thoughts of Alice Edwards, one of the co-founders of Between the Headlines.

I have voted both Labour and Green over the years, am a supporter of the concept of a Progressive Alliance on the left. Considering the impact of the media on this general election, there’s one point that cannot go ignored: print press is not where it’s at. Despite acknowledging the media bias against Corbyn with the infamous ‘Don’t chuck Britain in the Cor Bin’ and the London Evening Standard (current editor: George Osbourne) ever-detached from real Londoners and their politics, coming out in blunt support of the Conservatives saying they were “best for our capital.” However, despite this coverage, Corbyn still did unexpectedly well. I feel that the significant growth in youth vote and Corbyn’s success indicates that it’s the freedom provided of online politics – whether it be through memes and Corbyn’s dabbing or it’s use in organising and mobilising a big part of the electorate – was what got people interested.

VIEWPOINTS 2: Our thoughts on the 2017 UK general election

Its been a long election. At BTH we aim to analyse, discuss and explore the aim, agenda, and bias of international, national and local newspapers to as many members of the public as possible. Still, each of our writers bring their own opinions and biases in the work that we do, in our analysis, and how we interpret the news. This invariably affects the work we produce, and so in the name of full transparency, today we give you a glimpse of our opinions and worldviews.

Next up in our exclusive Between the Headlines series is Samuel Hewitt.

I voted Labour yesterday because I believe they offered the hope of a government that put people and compassion first, above private interest and capital. While I was initially sceptical of Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to rise above a media that is inherently rightwing and appeal to a wide range of UK voters, I have always agreed with his policies. And I am pleasantly surprised that his and Labour’s tactics have seemed to worked magnificently, using social media and grassroots campaigns to harness the hope and power of the youth vote, along with those who are disenfranchised with the current political structure.

Labour may not have gained enough seats to form a government but this election was about so much more, and it showed that there really is an appetite for social justice in the UK. The Conservatives tried to run on a platform of individual interest, of fear and concern over ‘the other side’ and although they now form a government they do so in a much weakened position.

As a medical student who will likely move directly into a position of near total job security, adequate pay, and ample opportunities in the private sector, it is not me who will stand to lose the most with a Conservative government. I think its important for people in a similar position to consider what type of society we want to live in moving forward – do we want one where public services and social care are cut because of the long discredited phantom of ‘austerity’, leading to over 30,000 deaths a year because the Tories prefer to give tax cuts to the banks and wealthy businesses? One where, for all their talk of economic proficiency and the failings of the opposition, the national debt has tripled in 7 years and the Tories are now on the brink of forming a coalition government with a party that is anti-abortion and gay rights, are climate sceptics and have direct links with terrorist groups? Or do we want one where people have access to universal health care, access to essential services like carers and a winter fuel allowance? Where we understand that the economy isn’t like our bank account and by cutting spending drastically we actually starve the economy and weaken it? One where we take care of the many, and not just the few? I know which one I prefer.

VIEWPOINTS: Our thoughts on the 2017 UK General election.

Its been a long election. At BTH we aim to analyse, discuss and explore the aim, agenda, and bias of international, national and local newspapers to as many members of the public as possible. Still, each of our writers bring their own opinions and biases in the work that we do, in our analysis, and how we interpret the news. This invariably affects the work we produce, and so in the name of full transparency, today we give you a glimpse of our opinions and worldviews.

To start it all off is Anjali Menezes, a non-UK, non-EU national, studying in the UK for the past 5 years on a student visa.

As a Canadian citizen, and an international student in the UK on a student visa, I have an outsider’s view on the UK general election. Did I vote? No. Could I have voted? Yes.

As a common wealth citizen living in the UK I could have voted in this election, and I am not entirely proud that I did not. Voting is an incredible privilege that I gave up last night. I voted in the 2015 UK general election, and just a few months later I also voted in the Canadian 2015 general election. To be honest, I felt a bit like a fraud. UK citizens do not have the right to vote in Canadian elections, so the right of common wealth citizens to vote in the UK is not reciprocated. I voted with my own ideals in the UK election, but I honestly do not have a vested interest in the UK. I am Canadian and hope to return to my home country very soon.

I have a significant bias and conflict of interest here. International tuition fees are immense, and my true hope is that the pound will fall. In both Canada and the UK, my political views are strongly anti-conservative, so even though I did not vote,  I am upset that the Labour Party did not win last night. However, I am pleased that there was no Conservative majority.

Friday 9th June 2017

Friday 9th June 2017

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

Today we bring you some of the UK’s headlines following the 2017 general election. Stay tuned later for our writers’ views on last night. As of this morning, the final results were not confirmed.

 

The Sunsun.9 June.jpg

Topic of article: UK Politics

Headline: MAYHEM

Author(s): Tom Newton Dunn (Political Editor)

Analysis: The Sun covers the predictions from the exit polls, which suggest the result of a hung parliament with the conservatives having 314 seats, Labour with 266, Scottish National Party with 34, and Lib Dems with 14. There is very little text on this front page, besides a statement of results from the exit polls. However, on a closer examination of what was included on this front page, we can see suggestions of the editor’s overall opinion on last night’s results. One line of the author’s impressions makes the front page: “[May’s election] ended in disaster”, suggesting that the writer had hoped for a Conservative majority in parliament. Additionally, the Sun brings in an interesting set of images to their front page, with the leaders of five of the political parties, all smiling except for Jeremy Corbyn, depicted with a scowl (possibly mid-argument). So why has this particular image of the Labour party’s leader been chosen? Is the Sun trying to highlight him in some unflattering way? Is the paper trying to assume the leaders’ emotional responses to the election results in their depictions on the front page? Maybe. On the other hand, Labour has gained 34 seats in this election, and UKIP has lost their only seat, so why is Paul Nuttall grinning on the front page?

 

The Guardianguardian.9 June.jpg

Topic of article:  UK Politics

Headline: Exit poll shock for May

Author(s): Anusha Asthana (Political Editor); Rowena Mason (Deputy Political Editor)

Analysis: The article discusses the predictions of a 10pm exit poll, suggesting the UK was headed for a hung parliament. The authors go on the try a draw of picture of the atmospheres in the Conservative and Labour party headquarters the night of the election. The authors are still cautious however, pointing to the fact that the 2015 exit polls suggested a hung parliament, while that election resulted in a Conservative majority. The article appears to paint the Labour party in a favourable light, while being quite critical of the Conservatives. Jeremy Corbyn’s “buoyant” campaign was described as a “gruelling seven week tour”, as the authors try and paint a picture of a very hard working and positive leader. Meanwhile, Theresa May is described with considerably less enthusiasm as “feeling good”. The choice of imagery on this front page is considerably different, with Jeremy Corbyn as the only party leader to make the editing cut. He’s shown smiling with two voters. A very different expression on his face than on this morning’s Sun.

Daily Maildaily_mail.9 June

Topic of article: UK Politics

Headline: BRITAIN ON A KNIFE EDGE

Author(s): Jason Groves (Political Editor)

Analysis: This article focuses on the results of the exit polls, suggesting a hung parliament. Jason Groves (article author) blasts Theresa May as the paper appears incredibly disappointed by the Conservative results. The piece picks very specific quotes to paint the Conservative leader in a now unfavourable light, as “one minister” (who remains unnamed) calling her campaign “the worst in living memory”, as her plans “backfired disastrously”. Still, the paper remains critical of all the British political parties, with no leader painted in a favourable light. Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn is called “profoundly dangerous”, while everyone else is simply lumped together as “a rag bag of other parties”. Though this remains a very opinionated piece, the Daily Mail appears to think every political party in the country is equally horrible.

 

The Timesthe_times.9 June.jpg

Topic of article: UK Politics

Headline: May’s big gamble fails

Author(s): Francis Elliott (Political Editor); Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor)

Analysis: The Times covers the results of the exit polls along with how this has affected the value of the pound against the US dollar. The authors’ views on the exit poll results echo the opinions of other UK papers in seeing this as a major loss for Theresa May’s Conservative Party. Strong words are used to depict the prospect of a hung parliament as a “humiliating prospect” as the snap election “spectacularly backfired”. Additionally, the opinion of the former chancellor adds to May’s defeat, as George Osborne calls for her to resign if the “catastrophic” predictions of the exit polls prove accurate. Last night’s results are put into context with Brexit negotiations and the falling value of the pound. While still acknowledging the fact that exit polls did not accurately predict the results of the 2015 UK general election, the authors seem confident in its results, describing its predictions of the 2010 and 2005 elections as “spot on”. In this article, the only other political party mentioned on the front page is Labour, with one quote from the shadow foreign secretary stating that if the party was called to provide the next government, they would do so “in a unified way”.

 

Front page images from: Kiokso ( http://en.kiosko.net/uk/)

Reviewed by: Anjali Menezes

Friday 2nd June 2017

Friday 2nd June 2017

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

The Sunsun_June2

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: LEAF IT OUT

Author(s): Tom Newton Dunn (Political editor)

Analysis: The Sun claims that the budget from Jeremy Corbyn’s (The Labour Party Leader) platform will cost families and extra £3500 a year and “blow a £300billion hole in Britain’s finances’. This far from impartial front page headline from The Sun clearly indicates that they are not voting Labour this election. This opinion piece puts forth a number of accusations: that Corbyn proposes “eye-watering” tax hikes (this front page does not reveal who would be affected by these rising taxes); that if elected, the party hopes to write off a number of student loans; and that this budget is just a form of “election bribe” for Corbyn to secure votes. There are no opinions from any sources presented in this text, other than that of the author. While figures are given to illustrate the large sums of money referred to in the text, this is a very good example of how a simple political platform and budget can be interpreted in many ways. While Corbyn proposes writing off a significant amount of student loans, no information is given as to how much money will be saved by Labour’s proposed Tax Transparency and Enforcement Programme, which aims to close tax loopholes for the rich. Political party manifesto’s can be long and hard to read, but in only presenting a limited amount of information, and the opinions of just one author, a completely different and biased presentation of a select amount of facts, aims to convince the reader to take on the political views of the Sun. The full Labour Manifesto for the UK 2017 General Election can be found here: http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017

 

The Guardianguardian_June2

Topic of article:  US Politics; environment

Headline: Anger at US as Trump rejects climate accord

Author(s): Oliver Milman (Environment reporter); Damian Carrington (Environment editor)

Analysis: Donald Trump has announced that the US will be withdrawing from the historic Paris Climate Agreement, signed in 2015, a significant move as the US is the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. The article contains opinions from numerous sources, and differing views, from Donald Trump himself, to former US president Barack Obama (who signed the agreement in 2015), as well as arguments from an unnamed Whitehouse document claiming the deal had been “signed out of desperation”, and analyses by non-for=profit organisations. While certain Trump supporters claim that climate change is a myth, this issues is not controversial but a proven fact. Almost 200 countries signed the Paris agreement to help tackle greenhouse gas emissions, after more than two decades of failed efforts to come to a consensus. Essentially, after just a few months in office, president Trump has erased more than 20 years of work. While he claims to be acting in the best interests of his “beautiful country”, his denial of climate change jeopardises not just the future of the citizens of the US, but the future generations of the world. Trump claims to be acting in the best interests of the US economy, helping those working in the coal industry for example. He adds in a great line that he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris”. Poetic? For Trump, yes. If you’re looking for something to do this evening, I suggest following this story- as the Mayor of Pittsburgh himself blasts Trump for his actions. This may represent a very sad day for environmental activists and citizens of the world alike. A very worthy front page headline.

The Timesthe_times_750

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: We will use SNP to give us power, says Labour

Author(s):  Francis Elliott (Political Editor); Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor)

Analysis: This article focusses on an in-depth look at what Jeremy Corbyn plans to do in the event of a minority government, as the shadow foreign secretary reveals that that party will look to the Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs for support. So what’s the fuss about a minority government. Essentially if the party that wins the election does not have the majority of seats in parliament, this makes it very hard to pass any bills. All of the other members of parliament (MPs), who would represent other political parties, would, as a group, have more votes than the party in power. This results in policies that need to pass with the majority of votes would stagnate in a so called “hung parliament”. The labour party here proposes that they would focus on the support and votes from SNP MPs to help pass Labour bills if this is the case. While the Conservatives have leapt on these remarks saying that Jeremy Corbyn would “invite the other parties to prop him up as prime minister”, what is not presented on this front page story is the view that this shows a great sign that Corbyn is aiming to team work in the event of a minority government. This article presents a biased view with some facts of what Labour might be planning on doing, with criticisms and opinions from the Tories. What will the Conservative party do in the event of a minority government? What is evident in this article is the growing fear of Conservative Party supporters over the rising support for the Labour Party.

 

Daily Maildaily_mail_75

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: CORBYN’S SLY DEATH TAX TRAP

Author(s): Daniel Martin (Policy Editor)

Analysis: A proposed inheritance tax change by the Labour Party for the UK general election would reduce the inheritance tax threshold from £850,000 to £650,000. While Daniel Martin does a great job here of explaining what all of this means, this article is still a biased piece. While half of the front page text is devoted to the details of the tax, the rest is coverage of the Conservative platform and the party’s own beliefs and critiques of the tax. It is ironic that Teresa May’s (the Conservative Party leader and current prime minister) platform claimed to be focussing on “mainstream Britain” in reality, their views on increasing the threshold for inheritance tax to £1million will only seek to help wealthy, upper-middle class families, as few “mainstream” folks could expect such a generous inheritance. While an in depth explanation of the ins and outs of the proposed Labour inheritance tax occurs, the author then points to the “better” Conservative plan to “charge some people more for social care”. By analysing the Labour budget while only presenting vague claims by the Conservative party, the paper attempts to convince the reader to vote Conservative. Just how many British are included in this “some people” claim? We may never know.

 

Front page images from: Kiokso ( http://en.kiosko.net/uk/)

Reviewed by: Anjali Menezes

Friday 19th May 2017

Friday 19th May 2017

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

The SunThe Sun 19 May

Topic of article: UK Politics

Headline: BLUE LABOUR

Author(s): Tom Newton Dunn (Political editor)

Analysis: Teresa May has released the conservative party manifesto yesterday, listing some values not traditionally seen as “conservative” in what some are seeing as an attempt to win over “socialist voters”. Today The Sun claims that the conservative party now closely resembles the Labour party as the paper says she has issued “traditional labour battle cries” such as increased spending on the NHS and “shifting taxpayers’ cash away from better-off older folk”. This is largely an opinion piece, giving us only one fact (though vague) about the newly released manifesto: that it includes more funding for the NHS. What else is included in this new manifesto? What have other party leaders responded with? Though the political viewpoints of the authors of the other front page stories are more clearly seen today (see below), the Sun does well to not present theirs today. While they do make a sweeping statement that the Conservative party is turning ‘red’, there is no indication of what The Sun thinks of this.

 

The Guardianguardian 19 May.jpg

Topic of article:  UK Politics

Headline: May manifesto rejects legacy of Cameron era

Author(s): Heather Stewart (Political editor); Rowena Mason (Deputy political editor)

Analysis: Teresa May released the Conservative Party’s manifesto yesterday, with strong criticisms from the Labour party. The manifesto promises more state involvement with the economy, while not including any accompanying costing document, leading to accusations from the Labour party that the manifesto was an “84-page blank cheque”. The Guardian presents a strongly anti-conservative piece on their front page today. While the article includes multiple direct quotes from May’s speech yesterday, there are multiple comparisons drawn between this manifestos and the Labour manifesto leading the reader to assume that the Labour party is a better choice. Critical quotes have also been given from the Association of School and College Leaders and the Health Foundation, both of whom agree that the numbers presented by the party just don’t add up. However, there are some very striking passages from the document presented here, indicating some major changes in the conservative party’s public messages this year as they state “We reject the cult of selfish individualism. We abhor social division, injustice, unfairness and inequality.” For full coverage of all of this election’s manifestos from the BTH team, stay tuned.

Daily Maildaily_mail 19 May

Topic of article: UK Politics

Headline: AT LAST, A PM NOT AFRAID TO BE HONEST WITH YOU

Author(s): Jason Groves (Political Editor)

Analysis: Yesterday Teresa May unveiled the conservative party’s manifesto. The Daily Mail presents a front page strongly supporting Teresa May for the upcoming election. Besides strongly opinionated statements, the article gives very few clear-cut facts. All that we know so far is that the conservative manifesto has been released and that it has a large focus on working class families. The author claims May was remarkably “honest”, though we have no idea what she was being honest about. The political views of the story’s author are further suggested by another subjective statement claiming that the manifestos by the other political parties were littered with ‘unrealisitic promises”. And that’s all we have to go on for today. Little news and loads of opinion.

 

The Timesthe_times 19 May

Topic of article: UK Politics

Headline: Mainstream May reaches out to Labour heartlands

Author(s): Francis Elliott (Political Editor)

Analysis: Teresa May launched the conservative manifesto for the upcoming UK general election, yesterday. So what can we glean from this front page about this 84 page manifesto? The conservatives will not hold true to their promises from two years ago to address: the falling living standards; child poverty; or freeze income tax, VAT or national insurance. (Though let’s be honest, what could we expect especially seeing as the leader of the Conservative party has indeed changed and she has the right to make her own path…right?). The party is promising to increase NHS spending by £8 billion over 5 years, and increase the school budget by £4 billion. The rest of the article focuses on how May is targeting “mainstream Britain” (some very entertaining new terminology that sounds like the name of the newest indie rock band), with comments from Jermy Corbyn (the leader of the Labour party), and direct quotes from May’s speech. May is appealing to the working class voters, while trying to assure us all that she is the best candidate to securing a good Brexit deal: “With the right Brexit deal secured, my mainstream government will deliver for mainstream Britain.” We can see the author’s own political views here as they claim in their opening line that the conservatives, while trying to appeal to “mainstream Britain” will be shifting money and resources away from the middle class and elderly. This line is stated as a fact, while the only supporting evidence of this on the front page is from a direct quote from Corbyn. Still looking for unbiased coverage of each party’s election Manifesto? Stay tuned with BTH, we’ll be posting them shortly!

 

Front page images from: Kiokso ( http://en.kiosko.net/uk/)

Reviewed by: Anjali Menezes

 

Friday 5th May 2017

Friday 5th May 2017

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

The Sun

sun.05.04.17.jpgTopic of article: Politics

Headline: HE’S HAD HIS PHIL

Author(s): Not stated

Analysis: After 70 years of service, Prince Philip is retiring. The Sun celebrates the achievements of Prince Philip here, using a very celebratory tone, with a picture of a smiling Prince and a very witty headline along with a reference to countless “gaffes” that the Prince has made in the past, that as The Sun says, “…made us giggle”. Its an interesting take on the many public blunders that The Prince has made. Of course we don’t know which of these “gaffes” the paper thinks were funny. I for one am not laughing at some of his quite abrasive comments, such as telling a group of British student in China “If you stay here much longer, you’ll be slitty-eyed”. Even in this seemingly light-hearted front page, the political views of the Sun shine through (see what I did there?). They’re not the only paper to think some of his comments were just funny. The above quote was taken from a Telegraph article, listing 48 of Prince Philip’s greatest gaffes and funny moments. Besides this interesting point, the front page has very little text, with the paper instead choosing to numerically sum up the Prince’s career, including over five thousand speeches.

 

The Guardianguardian.05.05.17.jpg

Topic of article:  Politics

Headline: Show respect in Brexit talks, Tusk tells May

Author(s): Daniel Boffey (policy editor); Heather Stewart (political editor)

Analysis: The European Council President, Donald Tusk has called for all participants in the Brexit talks to show ‘discretion, moderation and mutual respect”. The opening sentence of the article suggested that Tusk was referring directly to Teresa May, though this was a clever manipulation of the facts by the Guardian in order to portray an anti-conservative picture. It is only after reading more of the article that a more balanced picture is presented. Tusk’s comments were directed at all parties involved in the Brexit talks, and the article points out a number of questionable actions taken by members, including May’s claims that various officials were attempting to meddle in the upcoming UK elections, and the leak in the German press of an “apparently frosty” dinner held at 10 Downing Street. The bulk of the text focuses on Tusk’s comments, with some references to “conservative strategists” (who remain unnamed) and the European commission’s chief spokesman. What is evident in this article is the growing frustrations and even fear, over Brexit negotiations. It should also be noted here that while the Guardian is the only paper not to have a headline about Prince Philip, the front page still features his picture. Instead of the smiling and happy Prince seen on the other papers, we see here a much more haggard and older looking prince, sans smile, through a car window.

Daily Maildaily_mail.05.05.17.jpg

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: The nations salutes you, sir

Author(s): Not stated

Analysis: Prince Philip retires at age 95. There’s not much to go on for today’s front page. The only additional text given by the Daily Mail is that they have “unrivalled coverage” of this news. There is however, one interesting point here. While the headline refers to the Prince as “sir”, below this we see him only referred to as “Philip”. Possibly the paper takes on a much more personal approach to the Prince’s retirement from public duties, though this is all speculation. So what does this front page tell us about the views of the Daily Mail? Simply that they are royalists. The true extent to which their coverage is “unrivalled” is subjective, and very little news is actually included on this front page.

 

The Timesthe_times.05.05.17.jpg

Topic of article: Politics

Headline: Duke retires rather than grow frail in public

Author(s): Valentine Low (Journalist)

Analysis: Prince Philip is retiring from royal duties this summer amid growing health concerns and frailty. The Times here claims to have some added information on this royal retirement, notably that the main reason why the Prince is stepping down is to prevent his “growing frailty being exposed in public”. Like the Sun, the Times lists his achievements, notably attending more than 22,000 “engagements” since 1952. It is impressive, though it remains unclear what an “engagement” is exactly. The paper turns this (possibly mundane) story into a piece of juicy gossip, giving what might seem like quite personal and hard to come by information, such as the claim that the Prince has recently been feeling tired, and his fears of being “exposed”, that the Times has either “learnt” or “understands”. It all sounds very mysterious the way this information has been presented, with no explanation of how the paper has come to these conclusions, or any references to who their sources may be. So while the Sun and the Daily Mail take much more light and celebratory stances on the long career of Prince Philip, the Times is much more sombre, painting a picture of a frail, tired, and old man who has made a very tough decision.

 

Front page images from: Kiokso ( http://en.kiosko.net/uk/)

Reviewed by: Anjali Menezes

 

 

Friday 28th April 2017

Friday 28th April 2017

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

The Sunsun.28-04

Topic of article: Terrorism, national security

Headline: KNIFE ONE LADS!

Author(s): Mike Sullivan

Analysis: A man was arrested in Westminster yesterday carrying a bag of knives. The Sun is pulling a fear tactic playing into our society’s concerns over brown men with beards. While very little written content is presented on the front page of the paper today, what is pointed out numerous times is the fact that the suspect had a beard. The sub-headline here specifically uses the word “jihadi” to describe the suspect, while giving no evidence to back this up. The headline itself? Victorious in its exclamation, and joking in its wording. Instead of laughing at a man who was arrested, what about enquiring about the circumstances that lead him to fill a bag with knives and carry them to Westminster?

 

The Guardianguardian.28-04.jpg

Topic of article:  Terrorism, national security

Headline: Police swoop on suspected terrorist near Westminster

Author(s): Vikram Dodd; Rowena Mason

Analysis: A suspect was arrested yesterday near Parliament with a bag full of knives, as of yet his motives are unclear. While the headline and article at first seem to take a stance that this was clearly a foiled act of terrorism, it is only by the end of the first page that the possibility that this suspect was instead suffering from a mental health problem, is presented. What is clear is that details of the suspect, and their motives are still hazy, and tensions are still high following the previous terrorist attack just 5 weeks ago. The Guardian plays into this fear by listing the details of this previous attack- either in an attempt to have enough text in the article to fill up the front page, or to convince us that this was a terrorist attack, before any other details are known. The paper understands that this arrests may have been triggered by a member of the Muslim community, and here all of our prejudices as a society are laid out in the open. If it had been a white man depicted in the adjoining picture (on almost every front page today), would the headline have been the same? It’s a “Them vs Us” approach, even before we know who “Them” is referring to.

Daily Maildaily_mail.28-04

Topic of article: Terrorism, national security

Headline: SEIZED, WITH ‘A RUCKSACK FULL OF KNIVES’

Author(s): Rebecca Camber, Arthur Martin, Christian Gysin

Analysis: A terror suspect was arrested near Downing Street yesterday. The suspect was carrying a bag of knives. The Daily Mail has zoomed into the same picture that all four papers in today’s post include, to show the “smirking” face of the suspect, possibly trying to fearmonger the public at the apparently calm and composed suspect as he was being arrested. There is very little information presented on the front page of this tabloid today. The only additional information provided is the age of tehe man and the fact that he was known to the police services. There were two viewpoints that this news could be looked at here, the first being the current climate of fear of terrorism in the public, especially following last months attacks. The second, which is not seen in the article, is the success of the security intelligence services, and the reassurances that this should give the public. I suppose reassurance does not sell has many papers as fear does.

 

The Timesthe_times.28-04.jpg

Topic of article: Politics, technology, internet, child safety

Headline: Hit internet giants over danger to child safety

Author(s): Sam Coates, Deputy Political Editor; Mark Bridge, Technology correspondent.

Analysis: The NSPCC is calling for stronger regulations over the content displayed on social media, to protect children from “pornography, self harm, bullying, and hatred”. While the headline is a bit bizarre and vague, this here is an interesting read. The Times here almost buries the news of the Digital Economy Bill, passed by Parliament just yesterday (which many point out its focus to be “protecting” children from pornography), in NSPCC’s call to action for a new social media watchdog. On the one hand, we have the huge concerns over sites like Facebook and content streamed on Facebook Live. One the other hand, we have the UK’s on-going concerns over all pornography in general. It is very interesting that these two ideas have been lumped together by The Times. Is it that they are trying to portray pornography to be just as damaging as bullying? It should be pointed out here that the evidence that any exposure to pornography in childhood is in any way damaging is either inconclusive or lacking all together. The NSPCC wants children to be shielded from self-harm on social media, and fails to acknowledge sites such as Netflix and their controversial 13 Reasons Why show (which is a great watch by the way). Yes, companies such as Facebook and Twitter, need to do more to regulate their content. But why is this the same as pornography access on the internet? More information on the Digital Economy Bill can be found on the UK parliament’s website here: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2016-17/digitaleconomy.html . The “Armed terror suspect in Westminster” also makes the front page of The Times today.

 

Front page images from: Kiokso ( http://en.kiosko.net/uk/)

Reviewed by: Anjali Menezes

 

Friday 24th March 2017

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

The Sunsun_24 March

Topic of article: Terrorism, National security, Crime

 Headline: I’m off to London today.. it isn’t what it used to be

Author(s): Matt Wilkinson

Analysis: The man responsible for carrying out the terrorist attack at Westminster this past Wednesday. The content on the front page of today’s Sun is short. Khalid Masood stayed in a hotel near Brighton the night before his attack and the Sun appears to have interviewed some of the staff who work there. We can see a picture of the Masood being treated by medics after he was shot by police (he later died)- a small glimpse of a man many of us will never understand. I suppose the Sun takes an understandable approach to this story today, trying to make sense of the man now responsible for the deaths of four people. The tabloid today has added a line underneath their logo reading “We are not afraid”, beside a box titled “CHILLING FINAL WORDS OF EVIL TERRORIST”. We can see here that the Sun takes a “Them” vs “Us” approach by dispelling the UK resident as evil we never have to take the time to understand what lead him to orchestrate this attack. The Sun will have you believing that Masood was never one of us. The picture choice here reinforces this belief as we see a picture of a dying man on the front page of the Sun for the second day in a row and are told to see him as “evil” and not a human.

The Guardianguardian_750 24 March

Topic of article: Terrorism, National security, Crime

Headline: Killed by a homegrown terrorist

Author(s): Vikram Dodd (police and crime correspondent) ; Nazia Parveen (North of England correspondent); Ewen MacAskill; Jamie Grierson

Analysis: The article addresses some concerns over how a convict with a violent history who had been investigated by MI5 was deemed a low threat. The main body of text however focuses on the victims of the attack. The first aim of the article is to attempt to attribute some blame to security forces. However this is quickly overshadowed by the large pictures of the first three named victims who lost their lives after Wednesday’s attacks. We can begin to see a picture here now of how the choice of the exerts from the same speech given by Teresa May can lead to entirely different themes in today’s newspapers (see below). The  Guardian has chosen to include that May pointed out that the attacks have affected numerous nations with victims from 11 different countries which adds weight and a different significance to her message when she states “…we are not afraid…”. This article appears to simply take an “Us” approach as the headline points out that this was indeed a homegrown terrorist and the community response to support the victims was noted.  While the authors state that the IS have taken responsibility for the event, they also point out that no connection between them and Masood has been confirmed.

Daily Maildaily_mail_24 March

Topic of article: Terrorism, National security, Crime

Headline: GOOGLE, THE TERRORISTS’ FRIEND…

Author(s): Paul Bently (Deputy Investigations Editor); Glen Keogh (news reporter); Sam Greenhill (Chief reporter)

Analysis: The Daily Mail has found numerous guides on the internet on how to carry out similar attacks to the one seen on Wednesday.  In an attempt to find answers following the Westminster attack, the Daily Mail has become outraged that the internet exists while Boris Johnson claims that social media incites terrorism. In a way the Daily Mail also takes a “Them” vs “Us” approach, though incredibly “Them” is actually the 21st century. The article also echoes other newspapers in raising concerns that MI5 deemed Masood as a low risk threat. On reading this front page, the Daily Mail would have you believe that the UK was oblivious to the fact that vehicles could be used as weapons against people. There is also another somewhat confusing message presented on this busy front page. As the only picture on the page is of the police officer killed by Masood as he fought his way through the gates, the authors still manage to glaze over this loss of life by stating that Masood simply “waltzed through” the gates.

 

The TimesThe Times 24 March

Topic of article:  Terrorism, National security, Crime

Headline: Killer was Muslim convert

Author(s): Fiona Hamilton (Crime & Security Editor); Richard Ford (Home Correspondent); Dominic Kennedy; John Simpson

Analysis: Much of the extensive front page text focusses on Khalid Masood’s upbringing and violent criminal history and the response by security forces. Interestingly The Times notes Masood’s birth name as Adrian Elms and appears to take that stance of attempting to understand the phenomena of home-grown terrorism. We can also see that in the process of trying to understand the events of the attack, the Times would also like to start attributing blame to the homeland security forces as Teresa May admits that Masood had previously been investigated by MI5 and was deemed a ‘low priority’. Considering the bulk of text, the choice of headline is a point to discuss. The headline is of the attacker being a Muslim convert while the body of the article points to his violent history. So the Times would like to exploit [our] prejudices and fears in an attention grabbing headline, while the authors’ own research points to the history of a deeply troubled man, regardless of what his religious beliefs may have been.

 

Front page images from: Kiokso ( http://en.kiosko.net/uk/)

Reviewed by: Anjali Menezes