D H
Mar 11 · Last update 22 days ago.

Is the British press a bunch of bigots?

March 2021 is looking set to be dominated by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex expose, and the reason why Prince Harry of the UK royal family and his wife, Meghan Markel, left behind life as British Royalty for a life in the United States. Aside from outlining various problems with the royal family, including racism, the much more worrying allegation from this Oprah Winfrey interview is that of the UK press being a bigoted institution. This issue is of much more importance to British society, as in order to function effectively the media should be as neutral and representative as possible. His feelings are clearly influenced by the death of his mother who was chased to her death in a car accident by paparazzi photojournalists in 1997, and reactions to his comments seem somewhat mixed. Is the British press racist? Or are Harry and Meghan trying to cash in by dramatising press discrimination and the rift in the royal family?
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Studies show British tabloids are racist
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British Society of Editors says no
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Harry calls the press racist and the press agrees
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Studies show British tabloids are racist

Studies have shown that British tabloids tend to be more racist and xenophobic than in most other European countries, probably due in part to the very low representation of ethnic minorities in British journalism, with only 6% of journalists in the UK identifying as not white. An interdisciplinary study conducted by Professor Teun A. van Dijk of the University of Amsterdam, analysed media articles across Europe and found many more examples of racism and bigotry throughout the press in Britain and Holland. Such findings are supported by other studies such as a major analysis by the Muslim Council of Britain that found 59% of news studies concerning Islam or Muslims caste the religion in a negative light, and this figure was much higher for some publications, the Mail on Sunday publishing the most negative content about Islam at 78%. This seems to have translated into the world of politics also as a YouGov poll of Tory members found that 60% of the ruling Conservative Party think that “Islam is generally a threat to western civilisation” while over 50% believe “Islam is generally a threat to the British way of life” [1].

[1] theguardian.com/news/2019/jul/09/most-uk-news-coverage-of-muslims-is-negative-major-study-finds discourses.org/OldBooks/Teun%20A%20van%20Dijk%20-%20Racism%20and%20the%20Press.pdf

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Mar 24
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British Society of Editors says no

The British press is not bigoted, but they have a responsibility to hold the rich and powerful accountable, and this likely goes some way to explain the feelings of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The British Society of Editors, an organisation that represents around 400 UK national and regional media companies, spoke out against Prince Harry's claims about the press being racist, condemning his comments and the fact that neither he, nor Meghan Markle, produced any evidence to support the claim. The British press are no more bigoted than the rest of British society; evidence of bigotry in any country's media will invariably just be a reflection of the bigotry present in the wider society. Harry and Meghan may feel that the press and their family are racist but unless they supply any real evidence this remains just an opinion.

spiked-online.com/2021/03/09/no-harry-the-british-press-is-not-bigoted youtube.com/watch?v=WjFReKqaRhA insider.com/meghan-harry-uk-media-racism-claims-society-of-editors-refute-2021-3

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Mar 24
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DH edited this paragraph
The British press is not bigoted, but they have a responsibility to hold the rich and powerful accountable, and this likely goes some way to explain the feelings of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The British Society of Editors, an organisation that represents around 400 UK national and regional media companies, spoke out against Prince Harry's claims about the press being racist, condemning his comments and the fact that neither he, nor Meghan Markle, produced any evidence to support the claim. The British press are no more bigoted than the rest of British society; evidence of bigotry in any country's media will invariably just be a reflection of the bigotry present in the wider society. Harry and Meghan may feel that the press and their family are racist but unless they supply any real evidence this remains just an opinion.

Harry calls the press racist and the press agrees

Is the British press racist? Harry certainly thinks so… so do many journalists, and there are many clear examples, merely in the tabloids press’s coverage of Meghan, let alone coverage of ethnic minorities in society in general. Stories in the British press about Meghan have been largely negative, articles referring to her as “straight outta Compton” (referencing the N.W.A. song, indicating some vague link to crime as she is from LA), and Meghan has even been ludicrously chastised for eating Avocados. Meghan has said that the “damage they have done and continue to do runs deep”, calling the British press coverage “dehumanising” [1]. Many journalists have come out in support of Meghan and Harry's frank revelations, a group of British journalists from ethnic minorities wrote an open letter to Ian Murray of the British Society of Editors, insisting the UK press in denial about it own racism and bigotry.

kyma.com/cnn-business-consumer/2021/03/09/does-the-uk-media-have-a-racism-problem-these-journalists-think-so bbc.com/news/uk-56324215 [1] stylist.co.uk/people/meghan-markle-racist-bullying-tabloids-prince-harry-wardrobe-malfunction-duchess-difficult-examples/342213 msn.com/en-us/news/world/group-of-journalists-of-color-insist-uk-press-in-denial-about-racism-in-open-letter/ar-BB1esxMR

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