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Racism and the British press

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Racism and the British press Empty Racism and the British press

Post by Andy Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:49 am

A very interesting article written by a former Times journalist.
Definately worth a read.

https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/press-racist-bigotry-liz-gerard/


Pretty much what most rational people think, the British right wing tabloid press - The Sun, Express and Mail are either unconsciously on consciously bigotted and racist.

As a retired and respected journalist, it will be interesting to get Fred's take on this article - which has a lot of accusations, all backed up with a lot of factual evidence.

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Post by Fred Moletrousers Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:35 pm

It’s certainly true, Andy, that your three nemeses The Sun, Daily Express and in particular the Daily Mail are firmly to the Right politically and have traditionally firmly supported monarch, nation and flag for decades, but I would take issue with the suggestion that surveys such as the number of white versus black faces on front pages, in crime statistics or actually working in newsrooms prove that they are bigoted and racist.

If the time ever comes when ethnicity and diversity take precedence over considerations of factual reporting, news value and unbiased linterpretation of statistics then, frankly, we might just as well scrap all individual newspaper titles and introduce a single centrally (for which read “ government”) controlled organ such as Volkischer Beobachter.

Newspapers generally reflect their readerships, which is why the Daily Mirror and the Guardian are equally biased towards the Left. And so what of it? We are, thank God, still a free country and we can choose whether to buy a particular newspaper or not...and it’s pretty telling that far ahead of the pack in circulation terms are The Sun and the Daily Mail, the latter having an enviable record of successful campaigning for worthwhile causes such as PPE for healthcare workers when world panic-buying had led to severe and dangerous shortages and - most noticeably justice for the family of teenager Stephen Lawrence.

He, you may recall, was black and those brought to justice (only after the then editor of the Daily Mail named them publicly, thus risking a pretty severe prison sentence) were white. Racist? Biased? I suggest not.

The author of this admittedly interesting article reached conclusions after doing some extensive research, and she’s entitled to them as, equally are all us us. A lot of what she has presented is irrefutable; it’s how she interprets the data and some of the conclusions that she has reached that I take issue with.

Ps. I haven’t read The old U.K. Press Gazette for years. There was always always a mad rush for it in my newsroom on publication day - rather more for the job adverts than the views of its writers, I have to say!
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Post by Eilzel Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:53 pm

Fred Moletrousers wrote:It’s certainly true, Andy, that your three nemeses The Sun, Daily Express and  in particular the Daily Mail are firmly to the Right politically and have traditionally firmly supported monarch, nation and flag for decades, but I would take issue with the suggestion that surveys such as the number of white versus black faces on front pages, in crime statistics or actually working in newsrooms prove that they are bigoted and racist.

If the time ever comes when ethnicity and diversity take precedence over considerations of factual reporting, news value and unbiased linterpretation of statistics then, frankly, we might just as well scrap all individual newspaper titles and introduce a single centrally (for which read “ government”) controlled organ such as Volkischer Beobachter.

Newspapers generally reflect their readerships, which is why the Daily Mirror and the Guardian are equally biased towards the Left. And so what of it? We are, thank God, still a free country and we can choose whether to buy a particular newspaper or not...and it’s pretty telling that far ahead of the pack in circulation terms are The Sun and the Daily Mail, the latter having an enviable record of successful campaigning for worthwhile causes such as PPE for healthcare workers when world panic-buying had led to severe and dangerous shortages and - most noticeably justice for the family of teenager Stephen Lawrence.

He, you may recall, was black and those brought to justice (only after the then editor of the Daily Mail named them publicly,  thus risking a pretty severe prison sentence) were white. Racist? Biased? I suggest not.

The author of this admittedly interesting article reached conclusions after doing some extensive research, and she’s entitled to them as, equally are all us us. A lot of what she has presented is irrefutable; it’s how she interprets the data and some of the conclusions that she has reached that I take issue with.

Ps. I haven’t read The old U.K. Press Gazette for years. There was always always a mad rush for it in my newsroom on publication day - rather more for the job adverts than the views of its writers, I have to say!

I wouldn’t suggest circulation numbers is any more telling of the quality of the Sun and Mail’s quality as newspapers, than I would say the commercial success of McDonalds and Coca Cola is telling of their quality as dining and beverage providers.

More likely the high circulation is due to permanently low prices and broad appeal with celeb BS, sensationalism and knowing people love having something/someone to be angry at.

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Post by Original Quill Sat Apr 03, 2021 3:49 pm

Fred M. wrote:Newspapers generally reflect their readerships, which is why the Daily Mirror and the Guardian are equally biased towards the Left. And so what of it? We are, thank God, still a free country and we can choose whether to buy a particular newspaper or not...

While you are obviously an expert, and present some compelling arguments, I must say that Andy has anticipated those arguments by qualifying his subject: "British right wing tabloid press".

Within the readership of the British press are some rather direct, and telling, bits of racism. But Andy agrees with you: it's because the readership directs its own press—which is to say, the tail wags the dog—that this is so. Very telling...interesting.

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Post by Andy Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:39 pm

Also tellingly, after the Mail editor Paul Dacre left, the new incumbent,Geordie Greig realised he had inherited a paper with an appalling  record of bigotry,racism and misleading headlines.
Whilst still maintaining the Mail's political stance, he has at least gone some way to moderate the more bilious and overtly  caustic headlines.
The same can be said to an extent with the Express,which too has  moderated its attitudes  to some extent since it was bought out by the Mirror group.
The Sun of course unceremoniously  sacked both Katie Hopkins and Kelvin McKenzie in quick succession, both for racist articles which should never have been allowed by the editor.
Both of those 2 remain unemployed to this day.
I guess there might be an opening for them on the new right wing British news channels, be it Andrew Neil's or Murdoch's, but they would still have their opinions monitored closely.
To this day, there is a lingering mistrust of the big 3 rw tabloids.

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Post by Fred Moletrousers Sat Apr 03, 2021 10:09 pm

Original Quill wrote:
Fred M. wrote:Newspapers generally reflect their readerships, which is why the Daily Mirror and the Guardian are equally biased towards the Left. And so what of it? We are, thank God, still a free country and we can choose whether to buy a particular newspaper or not...

While you are obviously an expert, and present some compelling arguments, I must say that Andy has anticipated those arguments by qualifying his subject: "British right wing tabloid press".

Within the readership of the British press are some rather direct, and telling, bits of racism.  But Andy agrees with you: it's because the readership directs its own press—which is to say, the tail wags the dog—that this is so.  Very telling...interesting.

Yes, but Andy does have a long standing issue with the very existence of a Right wing tabloid Press (a pretty meaningless description since “tabloid” is simply a smaller newsprint size than the now outdated “broadsheet”) whereas I have absolutely no problem with the existence of a Left wing Press of any format. In fact I welcome it.

And surely the fact that the so-called Right wing Press enjoys such huge paid circulation figures compared to those of their Left leaning counterparts might well be construed as indicating that they are more in tune with the views of the majority of British people.



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Post by Andy Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:03 am

I don't have an issue with the existence  of rw newspapers,  I DO have an issue with rw newspapers printing downright  lies, falsehoods and starting smear campaigns.
I could list hundreds if I could be bothered, but I give you Hillsborough - the Sun, and Ed Milibands  father Ralph - the Mail, which once devoted 21 pages in one issue covering 11 different smear stories against him. All were false!
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/a-man-who-hated-britain-ed-miliband-accuses-daily-mail-of-appalling-lie-about-his-father-ralph-8852106.html

BBC News - Ed Miliband accuses Daily Mail over 'lie' about father
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24343074


Rarely, if ever, do you see sustained  smear campaigns against public figures  conducted by the  left wing papers Mirror and Guardian.

That is almost exclusely left to the right wing tabloids .

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Post by Original Quill Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:35 pm

Fred M. wrote:And surely the fact that the so-called Right wing Press enjoys such huge paid circulation figures compared to those of their Left leaning counterparts might well be construed as indicating that they are more in tune with the views of the majority of British people.

Interesting...because we have the exact opposite situation over here.  Here, the press favors the left, but that is because the political view of the general population has moved so far left.  The press is just keeping pace…reporters being representative of the median of public opinion.

The politicos in Washington have not kept up, and now they are receiving the brunt of the criticism of the press...Republican and Democratic.  It is this fact that leads me to believe a robust Progressive Party would be immensely successful at this time.

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Post by Fred Moletrousers Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:33 pm

Andy wrote:I don't have an issue with the existence  of rw newspapers,  I DO have an issue with rw newspapers printing downright  lies, falsehoods and starting smear campaigns.
I could list hundreds if I could be bothered, but I give you Hillsborough - the Sun, and Ed Milibands  father Ralph - the Mail, which once devoted 21 pages in one issue covering 11 different smear stories against him. All were false!
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/a-man-who-hated-britain-ed-miliband-accuses-daily-mail-of-appalling-lie-about-his-father-ralph-8852106.html

BBC News - Ed Miliband accuses Daily Mail over 'lie' about father
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24343074


Rarely, if ever, do you see sustained  smear campaigns against public figures  conducted by the  left wing papers Mirror and Guardian.

That is almost exclusely left to the right wing tabloids .

Of course one man’s “downright lie” is another man’s truth and one man’s “smear campaign” is another man’s expose of facts that an editor believes should be in the public domain.

Hillsborough (my late brother was a police coroner’s officer involved in the aftermath of that disaster and suffered mentally and emotionally for the rest of his life from what he witnessed on that awful day) was an absolutely appalling breach of professional and ethical standards by The Sun (the paper published false allegations from so-called witnesses without thoroughly checking them for accuracy) and I would condemn the newspaper for that. I don’t know anything at all about the Daily Mail and Ralph Miliband except that his less than complimentary views on the British way of life were not exactly unknown and a matter of public record and it was judged that with two sons at the forefront of British politics readers had a right to be aware of them.

But what I do contest strongly are accusations that Right-supporting newspapers are institutionally racist. Since any form of publication of material that could incite racial hatred is a criminal offence in the U.K., one might reasonably expect that racist reporting and publication would inevitably end up in court, either as a result of CPS prosecution or private prosecution by campaign groups. That has rarely, if ever, been the case.

OK, so specific articles including editorial comment or feature articles written by named columnists, or the selection by news desks of material associated with issues of ethnicity might well cause offence...but let’s face it, no-one is - or even should be - immune from offence, be it in the Daily Mail or a Newsfix thread.
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Post by Andy Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:01 pm

Piers Morgan just blocked me on Twitter.
He took umbrage when I said Meghan wouldn't let him sh@g her.

Actually proud of myself.

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Post by Fred Moletrousers Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:32 pm

Andy wrote:Piers Morgan just blocked me on Twitter.
He took umbrage when I said Meghan wouldn't let him sh@g her.

Actually proud of myself.
 How do you know he hasn’t? Her economy with the rest of the actuality is starting to unravel somewhat, isn’t it?
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Post by Andy Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:06 pm

You have a point, Fred. But if you were an attractive woman, would you rather spread for a handsome Prince or a fat, pompous phone hacker?

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Post by Fred Moletrousers Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:03 pm

Andy wrote:You have a point, Fred.  But if you were an attractive woman, would you rather spread for a handsome Prince or a fat, pompous phone hacker?

Good grief, I find the thankfully  unlikely prospect of any of those eventualities befalling me too horrible to contemplate!
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