Paper Review: 11 February 2014 – Today in the papers, The Daily Mail launched a petition for the UK government to suspend foreign aid in favor of giving more money to victims of the recent flooding. The Daily Express highlighted the growing housing crisis by telling the story of a group of 15 Romanian migrant workers who turned a public toilet in Edgware into a home. In broader European news, The Daily Mail decried the recent killing of a giraffe and a Copenhagen zoo “grotesque” and “grisly,” showing a picture of the animal in front of a crowd as it was prepared to be fed to the lions.
Story #1: Floods (The Daily Mail)
The Daily Mail announced on the front page that it’s launching a petition calling for the government to temporarily suspend foreign aid in favor of giving more to flood victims here in the UK. This is obviously a huge issue in the country right now, and the photo splashed across the front page shows a family standing knee-deep in water in their living room in Moorland, Somerset.
While the Daily Mail cited many residents who support this action, Prime Minister David Cameron has advocated against it, saying the government will provide enough aid to victims without needing to dip into the foreign aid budget.
Meanwhile, the stormy weather is expected to continue throughout the next week, with hundreds more homes feared to be in danger.
Story #2: Romanian Migrants in Public Loo (Daily Express)
In other local news, the Daily Express is reporting that the influx of migrant workers from Romania is causing a local housing crisis.
The paper reported that 15 Romanian migrants have turned a public toilet in Edgware, northwest of London, into a home – setting up beds, a cooking space, entertainment area, and – of course – a loo.
Photos in the paper show the outside of a drab brick toilet building and a close-up of a cooker inside that the group skillfully hooked up to the site’s electricity.
Harrow Council leader Susan Hall was quoted as saying that “this was a public convenience but it was not meant to be quite that convenient.”
Local residents expressed shock that the situation was so dire, but most didn’t seem to mind the innovative use of an otherwise abandoned space.
Story #3: Giraffe (Daily Mail)
In broader European news, the Daily Mail reported on the continuing outrage over the brutal slaughtering of a healthy young giraffe. Photos show it lying lifelessly on the floor before a crowd of adults and children as a zookeeper prepares to feed it to the lions.
The paper decried the slaughter as “grotesque” and “grisly.”
I think everyone can agree that it was unnecessarily brutal – and the fact that they made it into a show for visitors makes it that much more unsettling.
I found the paper review to be a little more intimidating, as I’ve heard fewer of these on the radio than features. As I started to look through the papers it became a little bit easier and I decided to choose a London-area story, a broader UK story, and one in the European Union. All three are issues that have been prominent in the news recently but that took on somewhat of a different angle in these particular articles. The hardest part was being succinct, engaging, and informative at the same time. I initially started out with a much longer script but had to cut down a lot. Editing this one was easier to do than the feature, as I had more control over the content that was recorded. I think this brief would be suited for a station like BBC Radio 2, as it isn’t very hard news but also isn’t aimed at a young audience.