Saturday, 25 July 2015

DailyMail : "Muslim gang slashed tyres..."

Very disappointed to see the following headline in the MailOnline on 25th July 2015 :

The report, by Michael Powell, describes how community leaders condemned the incident - but does not bother to quote what they say. In contrast, the report presents two social media posts as evidence of a "groundswell" of support for the attack on the vehicles.

The report fails to mention that there are organised cross-community groups in London who are active in disrupting immigration raids (see here for example).

Identifying the people who attacked the vehicles as a "Muslim gang" in the headline implies that they were acting out of religious belief and that other Muslims, anywhere in the country, could start behaving the same way.

Complained to IPSO under Clause 1 (accuracy) with these comments : "Story is distorted. No quotes from community leaders condemning incident, yet prominent space given to two social media comments from individuals. No mention of cross-community groups in London who are actively resisting immigration raids."

and under Clause 12 (Discrimination) with these comments : "Faith of people who attacked immigration vans irrelevant to the story."

Complaint will be rejected as rules state that complainants need to get a "representative body" to lobby on their behalf. This is a hurdle deliberately placed to stop individuals challenging the corrosive effects of journalism that demonises whole communities. (See here for a particularly disturbing example of demonising reporting from the Mail. Asked four local Muslim orgs if one of them could raise complaint on BFTF's behalf anyway. At the time of writing the article had been shared over 1000 times. The article was supported by advertising from Tesco, Barclays, Lloys, Weightwatchers, NEXT and No7.

Challenged advertisers with Tweets like this :

Update Sep 2015
After some to-ing and fro-ing, received this response from IPSO, rejecting the complaint :

"...You said that the article breached Clause 1 (Accuracy). The terms of Clause 1 are designed to ensure that the press takes care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information. You did not specify any alleged inaccuracies in the article, and your general concerns that the article did not make reference to “cross-community groups … who are actively resisting immigration raids” did not provide grounds to suggest that the article was inaccurate, misleading or otherwise distorted. We were therefore unable to consider your concerns under this Clause further.

You also said that the article breached Clause 12 (Discrimination). We should make clear that IPSO is able to consider complaints from an individual who has been personally and directly affected by the alleged breach of the Editors’ Code of Practice; complaints from a representative group affected by an alleged breach where there is a substantial public interest; and complaints from third parties about accuracy. In the case of third party complaints, we will need to consider the position of the party most closely involved. In this instance, the concerns you raised under this Clause related directly to the individuals who have been accused of attacking Home Office vans. Since you were not acting on behalf of these individuals with their knowledge and consent, we were unable to consider these concerns further."

For reference, links to many media regulatory bodies can be found at the Media Standards Trust