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My research involved searching the Internet for newspapers articles to see what different types of reporting styles where used. Whilst looking through the material I came across other articles that compared the right-to-strike for Prison Officers with that of the Police Service. The Police Service lost their right to strike a long time because their job is considered too important. If they went on strike the crime wave would increase dramatically overnight. The government would not have enough time to react to a strike and the chaos of a crime wave could make the public vote out the government.

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As compensation for losing the right to strike the Police Service were offered a pay deal that meant their pay level would be set fairly by an independent body. In one article I found it said Police Officers are furious with Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith’s decision to limit their pay to 2. 5%. They don’t agree their pay is being set fairly and they are trying to get their right to strike back. In the Derby Telegraph on Jan 24th 2008 it was reported that more than 200 Police Officers from Derbyshire had joined a group of over 22,000 in a march on Government to make their case.

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They have a snappy slogan “Fair play for Police”. Both Prison and Police Officers are trying to get the public on their side to make the government change their mind. During my research I looked at articles on the Internet from the BBC News, The Times, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Guardian and The Derby Evening Telegraph. Some of these media report the issues the same way for across the country but others are written with reference to the local area. For my assignment I choose the three types of media that provided the most differences in the way they reported the issue.

The following sections give a more detailed description of each media. Times 22/10/2007 The Times is a privately owned old-fashioned broadsheet newspaper. Its target readership is well-educated people who have professional jobs. It is generally considered to favour the Conservative Party. They sell most of their papers to business people. They cover all the major world news arts and sports events but most of their articles are about political or business issues that affect businesses and peoples’ wealth.

Therefore the audience for this source is business owners and/or self employed people. The report talks a lot about liberty, freedom and legal rights. The report says that “jailers” (Prison Officers) are claiming the right to strike by forming a case against the government under the EU Treaty. The Ministers say that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights does not give the prison service new rights. It puts the point that Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, will lose face because he is promoting the EU treaty but the Prison Officers will use it against him.

The article also talks about the Prison Officers Associated building a war chest to fund legal actions, setting the scene for a big fight ahead. BBC News 7/1/2008 The BBC News is transmitted over the radio and television but they also have a web site for people to read and comment on. It is funded by the government from peoples’ taxes but its rules say it must report all the news fairly and without bias. It is news targeted for the general public. It therefore gives information that is informative and understandable to the average person.

The report given about the prison strike ban, not only contains quotes from other people but video and audio interviews. The report sees both sides of the augment from Jack Straw and the Prison Service. The article shows the seriousness of the problem to the country and contrasts it with the situation in Scotland where a no-strike deal is still in force. The article is different to the other articles because it covers what each of the political groups and the Prison Officers say. It also illustrates better the seriousness of the situation to the public across the whole of the country.

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Kylie Garcia

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