Day of action against 'racist' Nottingham Post

Tagged as: anti-racism migration no-borders nottingham-post racist-press
Neighbourhoods:
Published by group: GroupNotts Indymedia

Activists associated with the No Borders network have been taking action against the Nottingham Post as part of two nationwide days of action against racist press. Banners accusing the Post, and the press more generally, of racism were unfurled from prominent places around the city, including the car park across the road from the Post's offices on Canal Street.

Pressday1-medium
Banner: 'The Nottingham Post: Racist so you don't have to be'

The banners read 'The Nottingham Post: Racist so you don't have to be', 'Britain's full... of racist press' and 'Resist racist press'.

In support of the claims, an in-depth analysis of the Post's reporting on migration issues was posted to Nottingham Indymedia. This claimed that the Post was, 'through the majority of its reporting, its embedded relationship with police and UKBA sources, and the platform it provides racist commenters, promoting an anti-migrant discourse.'

The actions were part of two 'days of action against racist press' which called for 'Autonomous, decentralised actions and protests against racist press across the UK'. In London, the free daily paper Metro was spoofed by activists. Their version highlighted the biased and prejudiced reporting of the press on migration with humorous articles including a front page claiming that Gordon Brown had been deported to Scotland! The Metro didn't see the funny side, however, and have obtained an injunction against 'all persons responsible for the publication and/or distribution' of the paper.

Links:

Link_go Banner drop against racist press

Link_go Everyday Prejudice: The Nottingham Post

Link_go Press Action – UK

Link_go METR0

Link_go No Borders Nottingham

Link_go No Borders UK

Link_go Previous feature: Scapegoats, Serco and Solidarity

Comments

Oh please

Here's how it is. The Post, like most local papers, has reporters doing more stories than they should be. They don't get the time they ought to go out and find stories. So they rely on press releases more than they should.
And who sends them press releases? Who gets in touch? UKBA, The Home Office, etc. Here's a little newsflash - they don't like dealing with the likes of the Post any more than you do. But they know how it works.
Other organisations could get in touch. Simple, straightforward stories - a day in the life of an asylum seeker, that sort of thing. It's not hard. You mention receptive reporters, so you know who they are. But do you do this? Of course not. You'd rather comment from your smug position of purity. Better to be pure than relevant, eh?
With friends like you, asylum seekers barely need the likes of the Mail.

@Get over yourselves

Hi 'Get over yourselves'.

Starting your comment with "Here's how it is" shouldn't you consider getting over yourself as well? ;)

If you knew how many press releases I'd had ignored by the Post you might not think that bothering doing it is such a good idea. But then, the press releases I write aren't the kind of thing that sell papers. So the Post aren't interested.

You think the Home Office don't like dealing with the Post? But the Post spread their propaganda for them uncritically. Sounds like a pretty good deal as far as they're concerned.

There is another flaw to your argument. Why would anyone who actually cares about migrants bother battling the casual racism of lazy reporting and vile commentary of the Post to get one or two (very short) positive stories in there? There are other places which are much more supportive of such stories that would welcome them (like Indymedia). Why would we support a paper that has so obviously failed us in so many ways?

"With friends like you, asylum seekers barely need the likes of the Mail." Please explain this comment. It seems to require a complete twisting of logic in order to make any sense.

A final word of advice: Take a deep breath and make sure you're thinking clearly before commenting next time :)

Take 2, more reasonable

You're right, I got a bit overheated replying to this. Simplistic answers to complicated questions do that to me.
I suspect that to the extend the Home Office ever considers the Post, they're more likely to remember stories like the ones you briefly mentioned at the end of your report. You remember the UKBA stories, they remember Selina Adda. Funny how that works.
I'm sorry to hear that your press releases aren't getting through, but obviously some do, occasionally. I suppose my biggest problem with your argument is your insistence on using the word "racist". Firstly because race has little to do with asylum and refugee issues unless you, like some commenters at the Post site, believe all refugees and asylum seekers are members of one race.
Beyond that, it's shrill. There are better words you could use. Lazy, understaffed, etc. But making the jump to "racist" is an unnecessary and inaccurate cheap shot.
Finally let me explain and apologise for my last comment, the "with friends like you" one. I realise that a lot of people who post on this site also do quite a bit for refugees and asylum seekers.
The anti-asylum voices that congregate around the Mail are louder than yours. The Post - which as you pointed out, does not have the same institutionalised biases as the Mail - is, for all its flaws, a place that can sometimes be friendly to the cause you care about. Go to war with it and you won't get stories in it. You can put them on Indymedia where they will be read by an audience of people who already agree with what you're saying anyway. Or you can interact with the wider world which, in Nottingham, partially means the Post.
That's what I mean. If the voices against asylum will do anything to win the argument, and the voices for it would rather be pure (and on Indymedia) than effective (and in the Post), we've already lost.

Some good points - some bad points

@ Get over yourselves

"I'm sorry to hear that your press releases aren't getting through, but obviously some do, occasionally."

So are we supposed to just wait around until the Post magically starts giving us as much much space as they do to the police and council? No, of course not. That's why we take action, like dropping banners and doing guerilla newspaper distribution - to put pressure on the Post to improve the quality of its reporting.

"I suppose my biggest problem with your argument is your insistence on using the word "racist". Firstly because race has little to do with asylum and refugee issues unless you, like some commenters at the Post site, believe all refugees and asylum seekers are members of one race."

But the hatred of asylum seekers and refugees is all about race, cultural difference and 'otherness'. When was the last time you read a negative story about Australian or American or Swedish migrants? Complaints are usually made against migrants from poor countries who, due to the legacy of white, European colonialism tend not to be white themselves. Of course, there are always those who will say "I'm not racist but..."

"Beyond that, it's shrill. There are better words you could use. Lazy, understaffed, etc. But making the jump to "racist" is an unnecessary and inaccurate cheap shot."

But what is the effect of the laziness and inadequacy of Post reportage? A spread of stories that has the overall effect of demonising poor (overwhelmingly non-white) migrants. Racism through laziness is still racism.

"The Post - which as you pointed out, does not have the same institutionalised biases as the Mail - is, for all its flaws, a place that can sometimes be friendly to the cause you care about. Go to war with it and you won't get stories in it."

As already pointed out, we don't anyway. Boo hoo. Rather than put all our effort into trying to get coverage in a crappy paper like the Post wouldn't we be better off trying to build challenging alternative media?

"You can put them on Indymedia where they will be read by an audience of people who already agree with what you're saying anyway. Or you can interact with the wider world which, in Nottingham, partially means the Post."

Or you can attack racist media like the Post whilst building the alternative you want to see.

"If the voices against asylum will do anything to win the argument, and the voices for it would rather be pure (and on Indymedia) than effective (and in the Post), we've already lost."

I think effectiveness means something a bit more than just getting a few column inches in the Post. I think you're overhyping the Post's importance.

Get your facts right...

Notts Imc, if you're going to slander the Evening Post then at least get your facts right.

This article and the other article, Everyday Prejudice: The Nottingham Post, persistently labels the newspaper and its reporters racist, saying it doesn't take into account the hardship of asylum seekers and immigrants. Looking on their website, here is a list of recent articles which do just that:

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/news/Credit-crunch-hits-migrant-workers/article-2206679-detail/article.html

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/news/Erik-Petersen-Let-s-stop-lying-asylum-seekers/article-2327145-detail/article.html

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/news/Fears-asylum-seekers-Notts/article-2351880-detail/article.html

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/news/Refugee-week-African-Women-s-Empowerment-Forum/article-2316598-detail/article.html

And that is just a small selection from the past month. Why have you purposely gone out to find articles which you believe to be against asylum seekers when there have been so many positive articles in the Post lately?

It appears that you are a trouble maker hell-bent on finding fault in a local newspaper that has no agenda of the sort.

The staff at the paper have already got enough problems - job losses, pay freezes - without you labeling them all racists.

Why don't you go out and spend your time helping these asylum seekers, instead of wasting your time writing these articles that you have spent no time researching?

Touched a nerve?

That's a very angry comment, G.Glenn - did we touch a nerve?

"This article and the other article, Everyday Prejudice: The Nottingham Post, persistently labels the newspaper and its reporters racist, saying it doesn't take into account the hardship of asylum seekers and immigrants."

This article reports what happened and puts the word racist in quotes. Surely you can't disagree with that? The Everyday Prejudice article accuses the Post of hosting racist comments but stops short of claiming that the Post is racist. So take a breath and read again.

You point out the few good articles from the past month and a half (you can only find four - I can find a lot more about crime and punishment). Two of those about the closure of RMJ which gets prominent coverage because the journalist's wife used to work for the firm. And take a look at the comments on this one:
http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/news/Fears-asylum-seekers-Notts/article-2351880-detail/article.html

Ignorant, incorrect and bigoted - but kept up by the Post.

The final article is about Refugee Week - something that happens once a year.

If you read the article again it is quite open about the fact that there are some good articles and that they all seem to be written by one journalist. Can't the other journalists learn the facts too?

"It appears that you are a trouble maker hell-bent on finding fault in a local newspaper that has no agenda of the sort."

No one said the Post had any agenda other than making money.

"The staff at the paper have already got enough problems - job losses, pay freezes - without you labeling them all racists."

Well I'd like to hear more about those problems so that we can support them.

It would be ironic if people struggling in the workplace were helping the bosses deport other struggling workers through the articles they wrote, wouldn't it?

"Why don't you go out and spend your time helping these asylum seekers, instead of wasting your time writing these articles that you have spent no time researching?"

What do you know about how much of my time I spend doing anything?

Why don't *you* go away and spend some time thinking about how the media works and how that contributes to a culture of racism rather than writing angry comments that *you* have spend no time researching?

Expect worse to come

The Post is in the process of being transformed into a free (advertising heavy) paper. As a result the few remaining journalists are having to fight for their jobs. Of course, we should show solidarity with them.

The future looks like even less real journalism and even more straight-to-print press releases from 'official' sources (i.e. local council, police, armed forces, immigration services, etc).

Thanks, but ...

"This article reports what happened and puts the word racist in quotes."

And the banner you draped over the car park - the banner that got read by a lot more people than these stories - simply said that the Post is racist.
So much for your "solidarity".

Stop, think... and then write

"And the banner you draped over the car park - the banner that got read by a lot more people than these stories - simply said that the Post is racist."

Who are you addressing Get over yourselves? The comment you quote was addressing the claim that articles on Nottingham Indymedia were "slandering [sic]" the Post. Nottingham Indymedia didn't put the banners up.

It's also worth noting that the articles posted here are critical of the Post's editorial stance and its ownership, not the reporters who, after all, probably don't get much chance to write want they want. If those reporters were to strike against their bosses you can be sure that people using this site would show solidarity.

Northcliffe Media

As I'm not from Nottingham and don't read the paper, I can't comment on the content. But, if you're critical of the newspaper's owners, then you're very far away from the office in Notthingham. The Nottingham Post, like a lot of other cash-starved, understaffed and embattled local newspapers, is owned by Northcliffe Media - http://www.northcliffemedia.co.uk/ . How about doing something really constructive and protesting about them and other huge media companies like Trinity Mirror (planning to slash jobs in the national Mirror titles and the Manchester titles they bought from Guardian Media Group) or Johnston Press - who took out an injunction against an NUJ strike on the basis that "they don't employ any journalists".