Saturday 12 June 2010

Recommended reading - links

Angry Mob looks at the Daily Mail's latest article on the 'exaggerated' and 'vastly over-stated' swine flu 'pandemic that never was' - conveniently forgetting their own headline such as 'How swine flu could be a bigger threat to humanity than nuclear warfare'.

Martin Moore from Media Standards Trust considers the backlash against the Mail on Sunday for its article about Lord Triesman. Last week, the News of the World's managing editor revealed that they turned down the story on the basis that it was 'too thin.' Too thin for the News of the World? Hard to imagine, isn't it?

Janet Street-Porter recently joined the lengthy list of Mail columnists who have written some ill-considered rubbish and suffered a backlash. Her 'Depression? It's just the trendy new illness!' was castigated by Musings of a phenomenologist, Andrew Brown in the Telegraph and three mental health charities, among many others.

Sian Norris and Dr Helen Mott were labelled 'hypocrites' by the Evening Post after they raised objections to a burlesque performance at Bristol Museum. After they complained the front-page story had completely misrepresented their views, the online article was removed and Norris and Mott were given a right of reply - a two-page spread on pages 16 and 17. It is good that the paper gave them the opportunity to give their side of the story over two pages.

The Media Blog has written (two posts) about the Mail on Sunday's latest attack on the interwebs and claims that firms are 'spying' on people through what they say on Twitter and Facebook. More from Martin Belam and Peter Kirwan, who was himself contacted by someone from the Mail via Twitter because of his comments - exactly what the Mail was complaining about...

In a longer post about the media and Cumbria, Matt Gardner looks at yet another feeble Georgina Littlejohn article on the Mail website about Lady Gaga and how she (apparently...) insulted the victims of Derrick Bird's rampage.

Five Chinese Crackers suggests a Sun front page headline beginning with the words 'Cannibal cops' may give the wrong impression.

Some other Mail-related fisking by Angry Mob:

And finally, from Adam Bienkov, a picture taken back in April of two Sunday newspapers (both from the same stable) who couldn't quite decide which way Cheryl And Ashley Cole's marriage was going to go:


  1. The Janet Street-Porter article on mental health in the Mail is utterly shocking. How the hell does bile like this get past a professional newspaper editor? Think JSP desperately needs to get some education on the subject as she's making an utter fool of herself there. Have had one friend die, and another make two suicide attempts to know all too well that mental health is just as important as physical health. Articles like hers continue to see it trivialised in a manner that ultimately costs lives through people failing to take the issues at hand seriously.

  2. THE JSP Article was a hatchet job on previous DM columnist Alison Pearson, who left with depression because she could no longer bear working under editor Paul Dacre, see this fortnights Private Eye (No. 1264)

    Its really very illumninating how the DM works!

  3. I remember, ages ago, a newspaper letters page with one featuring some seriously messed-up logic in dealing with mental health issues. The reasoning ran thus: treatment for depression costs x% of the NHS budget and is expected to rise.
    The NHS is costly while other 'sevices', like prisons, are short of space and money.
    Depression was cited as one of the most common forms of mental illness.
    Wiki says that the diagnostic criteria for the most commonly-diagnosed type of depression include persistent feelings of guilt without reason.
    People don't feel guilty without a reason.
    Therefore depressed people have all done something wrong and deserve punishment, not special treatment.
    Therefore all funding for their treatment should be redirected to HMPS.

    Completely failed to understand why it's described as an illness. Nobody's blameless, but if you tell someone who's both suicidal and innocent of any crime that they must have done terrible things, you achieve nothing but further suicide attempts.
    I was still at school, so it would have been 7-10 years ago, I don't remember if it was the Mail or the Mirror, nor which side of the border it came from. just rather disappointing to see that attitudes have not changed.


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