Protestors gathered outside the London offices of the Daily Express today to demand an end to anti-Muslim articles.
In recent years, the Daily Express newspaper has frequently published inflammatory articles on asylum seekers, migrants and Muslims. The newspaper regularly carries front page headlines such as ‘Christmas is banned; it offends Muslims’, ‘Now Muslims get their own laws in Britain’ and ‘Muslims tell us how to run our schools’.
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) chapel at the Daily Express has opposed such articles. Earlier in 2004, the NUJ objected to pressure on journalists at the paper to ‘write anti-Gypsy articles’. An edition of the newspaper had stated that millions of Gypsies were ‘heading to Britain to leech on us’.
Around thirty people attended today’s protest, which was organised by the Stop the War Coalition, together with Media Workers Against the War, the Stop the War Muslim Activists Network and the British Muslim Initiative.
Meanwhile, a possible insight into the techniques used by agenda-driven tabloid journalists emerged this week when an email, apparently sent out by Daily Mail journalist Diana Appleyard, emerged on a number of political blogs.
The email, dated 13 February, asked for ‘anonymous horror stories of people who have employed Eastern European staff, only for them to steal from them, disappear, or have lied about their resident status’. It added that contributors would be paid £100 for a ‘quick phone call’.