John Barnes MBE, Baroness Warsi, David Lammy MP and 49 other prominent voices sign open letter demanding more is done to tackle racism in the press
Baroness Warsi and more than a dozen other high profile politicians from across the political spectrum have signed an open letter coordinated by Hacked Off and Media Diversity Institute demanding IPSO act to stop racist and faith-based attacks in the media, citing some egregious examples and pointing to the real damage done to vulnerable groups.
John Barnes MBE, Faith Matters, Global Justice Now, CLASS think tank and Show Racism the Red Card have also signed among 20 civil society groups and individuals.
Hacked Off’s Executive Director Kyle Taylor said,
“Racism, Islamophobia and identity-based discrimination are rife across the media, which is why prominent names have added their voice to our demand.
“Many readers of the papers regulated by IPSO would be surprised to learn that it has no mechanism by which marginalised groups can make complaints on the grounds of group discrimination.
“This needs to change now so that the press is not allowed to be abusive towards a group or individual on the basis of race and religion with no recourse available for marginalised groups to seek remedy.”
The full letter and list of signatories can be read below:
Dear Independent Press Standards Organisation,
Racist and faith-based attacks against communities are so common in parts of the press that they have become a dangerous normality. It is clear that these attacks encourage the discrimination, harassment and violence suffered by members of minority communities every day.
Yet you have taken no action. In respect of each of the examples cited in this letter, you have not upheld a single complaint. In one entire year, of over 8000 discrimination complaints, you upheld only one.
By allowing these abuses to go on without sanction you are turning a blind eye to the continuing incitement of hatred.
We write to express our deep dismay and to ask you to address this problem urgently and publicly. While the press must be free to do its job, your implicit condoning of religious and race-based hate must stop.
Baroness Warsi | Baroness Lister | Baroness Osamor | Kate Osamor MP | David Lammy MP | Yasmin Qureshi MP | Caroline Lucas MP | Preet Gill MP | John Barnes MBE | Marsha De Cordova MP | Clive Lewis MP | Kate Hollern MP | Clare Hepworth OBE | Caroline Lucas MP | Cllr Hashim Bhatti | Chi Onwurah MP | Debbie Abrahams MP | John Cryer MP | Faisal Rashid MP | Tan Dhesi MP | Mohammad Yasin MP | Catherine West MP | Naz Shah MP | Virendra Sharma MP | Keith Vaz MP | Valerie Vaz MP | Shabana Mahmood MP | Karen Buck MP | Media Reform Coalition | War on Want | Global Justice Now | Ged Grebby, CEO Show Racism The Red Card | Steve Turner, Unite Assistant General Secretary | Faiza Shaheen, CLASS | Chris Frost, Chair of the NUJ Ethics Council | Fair Vote UK | African Women’s Welfare Association | Nigerian Organisation of Women | Faith Matters | Sikh Federation UK | Dr Shahidha Bari, QMUL | Professor James Curran, Goldsmiths University | Professor Jonathan Hardy, UEL | Professor Einar Thorsen, Bournemouth University | The Media Fund | Yvonne MacNamara, CEO The Traveller Movement | Fran Boait, Executive Director of Positive Money | Alaphia Zoyab, Campaigner | Gareth Lowe, Chair of Unite’s National Publishing and Media Branch | Stand Up To Racism | Interfaith Glasgow | Media Diversity Institute | The Hacked Off Campaign
ADD YOUR NAME TODAY – TELL IPSO “PROTECTIONS AGAINST GROUP DISCRIMINATION MUST BE IN THE EDITORS’ CODE.”
For press enquiries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and 07554 665 940
Hacked Off is the campaign for a free and accountable press, and we work with the victims of press abuse to achieve those aims.