The tendency of Newspapers taking sides in the National and International politics has been on rise. Today, Newspapers all over the world have divergent opinions and stances about issues in the public and international arena. This can be noted from discussions over controversial issues such as bailout plans and the war in Iraq among others. In spite of the fact that the newspapers have differing views, there are times when they hold similar views.
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In this context, The Guardian was established in the year 1821 in the city of Manchester. Mahr (2006) asserts that the Guardian newspaper dominated the national left-wing press in Britain until an upstart rival occurred. In the same line of thought, The Independent, ventured into the same market in1986. The latter was aligned to a political party and as such it was described as to have a strong political standpoint during the Iraq and the Spanish Civil war. Both newspapers tackled the controversial issues within the international arena over the time. So to speak, differences and similarities in their opinions have been noted and as such, the war in Iraq was one of the controversies that sparked many comments and opinions from the editors and columnist of both newspapers.
In connection to this, The Independent Newspaper strongly condemned the war in Iraq as it was observed that Robert Fisk, one of the editors of The Independent, wrote articles accusing The United Kingdom and The United States of America of deceiving the world about the war in Iraq (Allan & Zelizer, 2004). In one of his critical articles, Robert Fisk wrote that the Iraq war was ‘exclusively about the imperial control of Iraq’s oil’ (p.273). In contrast, The Guardian supported consensus although it had previously condemned the war. Surprisingly enough, The Guardian supported the consensus after the Blix report which stated that Iraq was not cooperating’ (p.274). As a result, The Guardian was condemned by some authors for the change of position. Nonetheless, some columnist supported the point that that oil was the main motive behind the war in Iraq.
Nationally, both newspapers attracted different readers thus bringing a difference of which most Liberal Democrats supporters read The Guardian. Currently, this has however been changed with The Independent Newspaper now adopting a left-of-centre editorial stance (Dearlove & Saunders, 2000, p.629). Sometimes, the newspapers expressed similar opinions like in 1986 when they were doubtful about the Labour party’s policies and especially the policy on defence (Negrine & Negrine, 1994). While discussing about refugees and asylum-seekers issues in 1990 to 1996, they both used pejorative expressions such as ‘bogus’ and ‘phoney’. These however, were used to criticise their use by other media services (King & Wood, 2001, p.59). Generally, the newspapers have political inclinations which have been adopted by their respective readers.
From a general stand point, the newspapers differed in opinions in regard to the Iraq war whereby the Guardian supported consensus while the Independent condemning it. However, there was an agreement between some columnists across both newspapers arguing that the abundant oil reserves in Iraq fuelled the war. Attributed to these newspapers, has been a strong political affiliation in UK since the time of inception. The Independent readers mostly come from the Liberal Democrats estimated to be 26 percent as compared to 22 percent who read The Guardian. Whereas The Guardian strongly supports Labour Party members, The independent does not. Equally important, it has been noted that both newspapers used similar expressions ‘bogus’ and ‘phoney. Both newspapers have strong political affiliation and they exhibited similar views during the 1987 general elections.
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