Wednesday, 24 August 2011
The Daily Mail wants your stories - unless you're black.
While reading Nick Davies's Flat Earth News, which I have reviewed here, I came across several paragraphs about the Daily Mail which I found particularly interesting (and of course disgusting):
I spoke to a man who had worked for the Daily Mail for some years as a senior news reporter. He said: 'They phoned me early one morning and told me to drive about three hundred miles to cover a murder. It was a woman and her two children who'd been killed. I got an hour and a half into the journey, and the news desk called me on my mobile and said, "Come back." "I said, "Why's that?" They said, "They're black."'
I talked to another journalist who has spent many years working for the Mail. She said: 'I did a thing about an American couple who were living as crofters in Scotland...They were white, but the woman had got children from a former marriage, and they were mixed race, so that story was dropped by the features editor. It happens once or twice - you write a story and it doesn't go in because the people are black, then you realise.'
A district reporter told me he would call up from Manchester to tell the news desk a story, 'and they would always ask: "Are they our kind of people?" i.e. "Are they white, middle class?" 'Or more often it would be: "Are they of a dusky hue?" And if they were of a dusky hue, then they didn't want the story.'
The feature writer who had had the problem with the homeless person's vet told me she had heard a very senior, rather famous Mail journalist on the phone to the West Indies...She said he was having trouble booking a hotel room and resorted to addressing the receptionist as a slave, shouting down the phone: 'Who's your owner?' Yet another Mail reporter, a young man who worked there for a year, told me he had been amazed at the openness of the racism in the office: 'You'd often hear people using the word "nigger" or "nig-nog" - really shocking...There is definitely a racist environment.'