Headline news – Independent worth reading again

Much to The Daily’s surprise, today’s Independent has another front page story worth reading, rebutting various stories in the right-wing press about immigration.

The weekend’s Sunday Murdoch covered an Ipsos MORI poll on immigration, showing increasing hostility to immigration and large majorities in favour of “tougher immigration laws” and a set limit on immigration. Women were especially hostile, and around 20% of working class voters (categories DE and social housing tenants) now want all immigration banned.

The strident tone of press coverage is a major cause of this, as much research has shown. And the coverage of asylum is even worse than that of immigration – when the two are not simplistically conflated as one.

Indeed, the Sunday Times need look no further than its red top bedfellow in the Murdoch stable, The Sun, which once (for example) ran the front page story “Swan Bake” claiming that asylum seekers were killing and eating swans from wildlife sanctuaries. Needless to say, this proved to be untrue.

Then there is this correspondent’s all time favourite from the Daily Express: “Bombers were all spongeing [sic] asylum seekers” after the July 7 bombings. At the time, only two of the bombers had been identified – and neither of them were asylum seekers. As it turned out, none of them were.

Recourse to the Press Complaints Commission has proved futile – they let off the Sun with a “clarification”  on page 41 and ruled that the Express story was fair comment.

A campaign in the liberal press is welcome (though they are also occasional offenders) but until there is some real sanction for such behaviour, the tabloid preachers of hate are bound to continue.

7 Responses to Headline news – Independent worth reading again

  1. Nick says:

    I’m not sure that I’d take a blog that appears to think it’s ok to refuse to travel with Arabs (if they look funny) too seriously.

  2. Bishop Hill says:

    I assume that you are unable to marshall any actual arguments to support your case?

  3. Not bad as an attack on the Indy, but fairly feeble as a defence of the conduct of the right-wing press.

    And I can come up with plenty more examples, from the Sun’s “Asylum seekers are after our fish” through to the Express’s “1.6m Gypsies ready to flood in” – a story which went on to describe gypsies as “leeches”.

    The question to my mind is more what can be done about it than whether there is a problem in the first place, though I don’t think we’d particularly push the Independent as a solution to anything!

  4. Joker says:

    “Preachers of hate” – I like it! 😀

  5. Bishop Hill says:

    “…I don’t think we’d particularly push the Independent as a solution to anything!”

    Indeed! 🙂

  6. Disgusted, N London says:

    I might cancel my subscription to the Daily if you keep recommending articles from the Indy.

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