In preparation for our next seminar, we were asked to look at two different newspapers, one right leaning and one left leaning, and compare them to see the different ways in which they cover certain stories.
I bought The Guardian (left leaning) and the Daily Mail (right leaning). I flicked through each newspaper and found a few stories that they both covered.
The first two articles I found were about England Footballer, Adam Johnson, who has been accused of grooming a 15-year-old girl. The Guardian’s headline ‘England star, 28, pleads guilty to child sex charge’, and the Daily Mail’s headline ‘England footballer facing jail as he admits sex offences with girl, 15’ are both very similar. The story is given more space, taking up a third of the page (and has a large image to accompany it), in the Daily Mail. In the Guardian it was given a small amount of space and only had an image smaller than a twopence piece to accompany it.
The story itself, while portrayed similarly in each article, is given a slightly more negative spin in The Guardian, whereas the Daily Mail appears to omit a few facts. The footballer has plead guilty for two charges: both articles state this. The Guardian adds that he was suspended from his duties with Sunderland, the club he plays for, after his initial arrest. He was allowed back when his bail was extended but he also originally denied two of his charges. These facts show Adam Johnson in a more negative light than the Daily Mail article had.
In another set of articles about the American presidential election candidates, I found more differences. The two articles are slightly different, the Daily Mail’s article is about Hillary Clinton as a ‘bully’; ‘She sports feminism but even women say she’s a dishonest bully’ and is written using the angle of feminism and ‘bullying’. The Guardian’s article ‘America in thrall to pair of political misfits’ comments on the three main candidates of the upcoming election; Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump and uses the angle of money, economy and Wall Street to compare and discuss them.
The Daily Mail’s article, written by Justin Webb, is very opinionated and presents Hillary Clinton in a negative light. There are arguments that suggest that women are being bullied into voting for Hillary because if they do not they are not helping women and require ‘a special place in hell’.
The Guardian, in contrast, seems to stick to the facts. It states what is true and states the opinions of some people, and the ideas of the candidates without adding its own opinions. However, with this, Sanders is seen in a positive light, while Trump most definitely is not. The conclusion to the article suggests that Sanders is the most likely to win, since Clinton is losing votes from young women and Trump is losing votes from Republicans.
Part of the differences can be answered through looking at which way the papers politically lean. As mentioned at the beginning the Daily Mail is a right-leaning newspaper, and the Guardian is a left-leaning newspaper. This means that the Daily Mail is more likely to demonstrate the views of a right-wing political party: Conservative in the UK. The Guardian is more likely to demonstrate the views of a left-wing political party: Labour in the UK.
The Guardian is likely to use money as an angle against the rich candidates (American presidential election) such as Hillary Clinton as Labour supporters would against David Cameron and the Conservatives. The Daily Mail is likely to write Hillary Clinton off as a bully as she is from an opposing left wing party. The paper leans towards the right-wing views of the Conservatives.
Much of the newspaper media in the UK, and I imagine in the US too, is guided by political leaning. This is seen through the articles I have chosen above (more so the articles about the American presidential election as the subject is directly about politics).