Friday 27 November 2009

The Great Silence

Earlier this week there was a noticeable silence from the media (except the Guardian and Press Gazette) following the award of nearly £800,000 to a former News of the World journo who suffered from a 'culture of bullying' led by former editor, now Conservative head of communications, Andy Coulson.

Given Coulson was Editor during the phone-hacking scandal, it seemed there were questions to be asked of him and his new political masters. But no-one wanted to ask them.

And it's not the only story to have been ignored this week.

Yesterday, a man admitted 22 charges, including six under the Terrorism Act, after 54 homemade ball-bearing and nail bombs were found in his West Yorkshire home, along with guns, ammunition and weapons manuals. The charges included:

  • four counts of making explosives
  • four counts of possessing explosives
  • three counts of manufacturing prohibited weapons
  • four counts of possession of prohibited weapons
  • one count of possession of ammunition without a certificate.

Now it doesn't take a genius to work out that if this man was Muslim, this would be all over the media. But he isn't and so, apart from three Yorkshire papers, it hasn't been mentioned at all. By contrast, this Muslim woman only had a memory stick with explosives manuals on and the Mail reported that. But they ignored this.

And the reports from Hope Not Hate and Searchlight that this bombmaker (Terence Gavan) was also a member of the BNP should only heighten the news interest. Or so you would have thought...

At the start of October, this blog noted the desecration of Muslim graves in Southern Cemetery in Manchester. Although covered by the BBC, it was ignored by everyone else in the mainstream media.

Now, the BBC are reporting the graveyard has been targeted for a third time, as 20 headstones were pushed over. The BBC says:

Det Ch Insp Steve Eckersley called it "mindless racist behaviour" that was being treated as a hate crime. On 29 September, 26 Muslim headstones were vandalised and three days later 27 were targeted.

So at what point does this become news to the newspapers? Or is it because the targets are Muslims that it never does?

There was lots of coverage (300 articles on Google News) of the case of Phillip Laing, who was photographed peeing on a war memorial. The Mail ran five stories on him, including one revealing How one war memorial is desecrated in Britain every week.

But when there have been seventy-three acts of desecration in a single cemetery in around sixty days, the Mail doesn't think that is worth reporting.

They - and the rest of the print media - couldn't be more wrong.


  1. When I become a millionaire (this time next year, Rodders) we're going into national print with this stuff.

    Great article!

  2. What they don't cover could presumably fill a an equally bias paper for the left. Ridiculous. I'm off to Manchester tomorrow so I'll check with my family if they know owt about this.

  3. The story about the Muslim graves did make front page news; in our local free paper(South Manchester Reporter). But that's the only place I've seen it.

    At a time when the traditional media formats are under pressure to prove their relevance and value, this kind of behaviour isn't going to help their cause.

  4. I don't have much to add to this excellent article, but as a now regular reader of your blog thought I'd say thank you and keep up the good work. You're probably largely preaching to the anti-tabloid choir at the moment, but it's definitely important and very necessary.


  5. Take a look here:


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Comments are moderated - generally to filter out spam and comments wishing death on people - but other messages will be approved as quickly as possible.