Two Newspaper Reports Compared

Read the two reports and answer the questions. Think about how the teacher is described in each report, whether the reports are biased for or against him.
Most importantly, how do the reports persuade you to take a view on the teacher?


 Article A


A Camchester teacher was dismissed yesterday after all his pupils were ungraded in this summer's GCSE English examination because they failed to satisfy the Examining Board's course work requirements.

A spokesperson for the Local Education Authority said yesterday that Mr Robert Mitchell (24) had been relieved of his duties at Camchester Comprehensive School as the headteacher and the school's governors considered him unsuited to teaching.

Mr Mitchell, who was appointed to the school only last December, is to appeal against the decision. He claims that his superiors did not inform him of the exact regulations covering the examination.

 Article B


ROB MITCHELL'S thirty 16-year-old pupils were upset when they all failed their GCSE English exam at the Camchester Comprehensive School.

Local Education Chiefs were even more surprised, and in a shock swoop yesterday, sacked Mitchell.

Bearded, leather-jacketed Mitchell (22), a member of Hopwell Young Marxist League, was last night planning an appeal at the Young Street flat which he shares with youth leader Ted Harvey (27) and art student Niki Sontag (18)

"The pupils both enjoyed and benefited from my lessons," he claimed. "This is all a dreadful misunderstanding."

One of Mitchell's pupils, blonde, 16-year-old Leanne Sprockett, said "He was great. He didn't shout at you like some of the other teachers. His lessons were fun."

Mitchell's lessons were chaotic, said a parent. "The children did as they liked."

Damage to classrooms at the school is extensive.

Words to understand:
Marxist -
a political group following the teachings of Karl Marx, generally viewed as left wing radical
bias / biased - influenced towards one side of an argument
prejudiced - decided beforehand, so not open to fair argument
proof - fact that proves the truth of something
evidence - material which may suggest a truth (so there is evidence that his blood was on the knife; this may prove that he killed the man.)
implication - suggesting without proving (so the fact that he shares a flat with a young female art student may imply that he has loose morals, even if there is no proof of that.)


1. Which important piece of information contained in passage A is missing from B? Why?

2. Is there any proof offered that Mr Mitchell could not control his classes?

3. Why does article B concentrate on Mr Mitchell's personality?

4. Pick out two phrases from article B that prejudice the reader against the teacher. Comment on the journalist's choice of words.

5. Compare the two headlines. Suggest alternatives for each report and exlain your choice. Were your choices more or less prejudiced?

6. Would photographs be used to illustrate either or both articles? If so, explain and suggest what sort of picture might be used.

7. Write your own, fair and unprejudiced version of the story, using information from both articles.

8. Comment on the reason for your choice of information and the way you wrote your version of the story.

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