Archive for the ‘Daily Express’ tag

A chastened Express?

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Reading today’s Daily Express is a very odd experience.

It still says ‘Daily Express’ at the top and has the incongruous tagline ‘The World’s Greatest Newspaper’. The paper is the same size, the same price, and has the same font. Yet there is something radically different about it.

There is, for one thing, no mention of Madeleine McCann, or her parents, or anyone else to do with the whole McCann saga. No real surprise there I suppose – Carter Ruck’s warnings and a bill for £550,000 finally appear to have got through to Richard Desmond and his editor, Peter Hill.

But neither is there any mention of Diana, or Shannon Matthews’ family, or Fiona McKeown. Heather Mills makes a brief appearance on page 13, but only as part of Ann Widdecombe’s column. Nor are there any ominous warnings of wild weather. The Islamophobia is even toned down – though the paper could not resist a short piece by Cyril Dixon on p.14 reporting that there will be ‘More attending Mosques than Mass by 2020′ (would this previously have been a p.1 splash?).

Does this signify the end of the Express’ endless recycling of the same 4-5 stories? Have Richard Desmond and Peter Hill become self-conscious about their cynical manipulation of the news agenda? Or is this just a brief moment of respite until the criticisms subside and the calls for an Express boycott die down?

Written by Martin Moore

March 26th, 2008 at 12:45 pm

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Express journalists writing on 'Madeleine'

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BTW, the Express may have removed all Madeleine McCann articles from its website but, thanks to www.journalisted.com we still know that each of these Express journalists has written more about ‘Madeleine’ than anything else in the last 6 months (based on more than 50 articles published by each journalist on express.co.uk):

Martin Evans
David Pilditch
Padraic Flanagan
Nick Fagge
Martin Stote
Matt Drake

Written by Martin Moore

March 19th, 2008 at 11:51 am

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Stop buying the Express

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“I fail to see”, comments Kieran216 below Roy Greenslade’s excellent McCann/Express blog, “how anyone of sane mind could have such complete lack of dignity to actually perform the act of walking up to a shop counter and paying money for the Express or the Star”.

S/he has a point. Here are papers that have knowingly printed stories they know to be false and that they know will be highly damaging to the McCann family. And they have done so with a grotesque cynicism and lack of respect not just for the McCanns but for their own readers. Just to take one instance from last October: on Monday 8th the paper splashed with ‘Madeleine parents in the clear: new shock on DNA evidence’. Then followed this on the 9th with ‘DNA puts parents in the frame’ (hat tip Observer).

And it doesn’t stop with the McCann’s. As toxtethogrady comments on the same Greenslade blog: “Can we have front page apologies for the hundreds of made up Diana and weather stories now as well?”. You could extend toxtethogrady’s list to include stories about the family of Shannon Matthews, stories about climate change and, of course, stories about immigrants and immigration.

At the same time the papers’ owner, Richard Desmond, continues to make phenomenal personal profits from his newspapers while cutting the number of staff. Last year, according to The Scotsman, he paid himself £40.7m, a good portion of which came from profits made by the Express and Star titles. Yet at the end of 2006 he cut 60 jobs from these titles and outsourced the whole business section of the Express to the Press Association – to save costs.

Desmond appears to be happy to print anything, true or false, to sell enough papers to make a profit. The more his papers’ circulations decline the more costs he’ll presumably cut until, at some stage in the next decade or so, they eventually become unprofitable to print.

Our only hope is that the people who keep putting their hand in their pocket to buy any of his papers, stop.

Written by Martin Moore

March 19th, 2008 at 9:39 am

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Mail vs Express – who is more xenophobic?

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The Mail and the Express appear to be in a head-to-head contest to see who can out-xenophobe the other.

Roy Greenslade today published an email sent by a Mail journalist (Diana Appleyard), appealling for lying, thieving Eastern Europeans:

“I am urgently looking for anonymous horror stories of people who have employed Eastern European staff, only for them to steal from them, disappear, or have lied about their resident status. We can pay you £100 for taking part, and I promise it will be anonymous, just a quick phone call. Could you email me asap?”.

Meanwhile, over in the Express we have Patrick O’Flynn raging – and I mean raging – against Britain’s Muslim minority. “The leaders of British Islam” he shouts, “still don’t appreciate the degree to which their behaviour is despised by the majority of the public. Unless they give up their obsession with grievance and victimhood and instead under­stand the need to integrate and contribute positively, Britain will slide towards segregation and civil strife”.

O’Flynn goes on to back up his anti-Islamic outrage by referencing some IPPR research (yes, that’s the favourite new Labour thinktank IPPR): “On an economic level, the impact of Britain’s Muslims is massively negative” O’Flynn claims. “Research shows Muslim communities are typified by heavy levels of welfare dependency and low levels of wealth creation. A report last year by the Left-wing Institute for Public Policy Research found that fewer than half of adults from four of the biggest Muslim groups here – Somalis, Bangla­deshis, Turks and Pakistanis – are in employment. And because of the high number of children in their families they also tend to be heavy users of expensive public services such as the NHS” (my italics).

So let’s have a look at this IPPR research. ‘Britain’s Immigrants: An Economic Profile’ was published last September to inform a Channel 4 Dispatches programme. It was, as its title suggests, about ‘immigrants’, not about Muslims. It measured economic status by nationality not by religion. On top of which, O’Flynn’s statistic is misleading since only 8% of the groups he cites are unemployed. The rest are economically inactive. In other words they’re either at home looking after children, studying, retired, or looking for work (and not collecting unemployment benefit). Oh, and that final sentence is all O’Flynn’s own (i.e. not based on any research).

As liberals go through a crisis of confidence about the limits of tolerance, the xenophobic vitriol of the mid-market black tops seems to know no bounds. And as their anger increases, so their aim becomes more scattergun. Immigrants, asylum seekers, Muslims, East Europeans – all become the targets of unfocused aggression. Where next? Shriller and shriller until…

Written by Martin Moore

February 19th, 2008 at 3:09 pm

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