Journalists resist racist proprietors

Submitted by Anon on 22 May, 2004 - 10:16

By a member of NUJ London freelance branch

At the start of the year, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) chapel at Express and Star newspapers (Daily and Sunday Express, and The Star) resisted the pressure of proprietor Richard Desmond to publish racist articles against asylum-seekers, particularly against the East European Roma people that the papers said would flood into Britain after the 1 May enlargement of the EU.

The chapel has called for the help of the Press Complaints Commission in standing up to Desmond, and passed the following policy:

"This chapel expresses its disapproval of the sustained campaign against asylum seekers.

"We find this campaign surprising, particularly when we know the proprietor himself is Jewish and should understand the problems of racism, which are becoming endemic in British society.

"The media has an important role to play in a democratic society and should not distribute or whip up confrontational racist hatred in the pursuit of circulation."

  • For coverage of asylum in the press, a good source is the Refugees, Asylum-seekers and the Media (RAM) project