Saturday, June 25 2016

Daily Star and 'anti-Muslim propaganda'

Zaman newspaper publishes an interview with Richard Peppiatt, the reporter who quit his job at the Daily Star over its anti-Muslim bias.

From the paper: 

“Richard Peppiatt, who worked as a full-time freelance journalist at the Daily Star for two years, claimed that editors forced journalists to fabricate news that suggested Muslims and immigrants were threatening national security.

“He said the fabricated stories were mainly related to Muslims, depicting them as a threat to British society. The defamatory stories became more widespread after the bombings in London on June 7, 2005 -- often referred to as 7/7 -- and the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the United States.

“Especially since 7/7 and, to a degree, since 9/11, Muslims have certainly been painted as the ‘cartoon baddy.’ Definitely in the tabloids. Someone always has to be blamed, you can’t just leave it up in the air when something happens; somebody always needs to take the blame. Sadly it’s the Muslims that have been chosen to be portrayed as the ‘baddies’.”

On the lack of procedures for redress of grievance via the Press Complaints Commission given the limitations on third party complainants, Peppiatt said, “It was therefore challenging for Muslims to complain as there was no one individual being affected by the articles. However, it clearly does affect individuals as it affects the way people behave towards each other in society. I certainly came to understand that what we print in the media has a direct effect on the lives of individuals; this can lead to violence on the streets, based on what we write.”

Peppiatt told the Leveson Inquiry that the Daily Star’s claim that it didn’t have an anti-Muslim bias was "like being presented with an apple and swearing blind it's a banana."

In November 2008, Media Workers Against the War (MWAW) wrote an open letter to the owner and editor of the Daily Star, Richard Desmond and Dawn Neeson respectively, urging that the paper desist from publishing sensationalist, misleading and distorted articles on Muslims arguing that they “pander[ed]  to ignorance and prejudice against Muslims“ and “encourage[ed] racist stereotyping and contempt”.

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