Monday, 19 October 2009

The press, and the accountability of the press

So, large parts of the UK internet have been rightly angry at Jan Moir's Daily Mail article. The Press Complaints Commission received over 21,000 complaints about the article, which apparently is more than they normally get in several years - the objections to the article have been widespread enough to get their own stories.

Meanwhile, the Daily Express publishes an attack on people with mental ill-health, and the Daily Mail and the BBC publish some more transphobic reports. Neither appears to have been noticed, much. Nor do many of the other pieces of bigoted reporting - whether transphobic, sexist, ablist, racist, homophobic, fat-hating, or otherwise - that can be found published by most news organisations on most days of the week.

Moir - horrific though their opinions and subsequent attempted defence were - seems to have become the target of so many complaints by attacking a recently deceased popular celebrity (and their family), rather than because of their bigotry. What gets noticed on the internet is often largely a matter of luck - good or bad - which of course means that the majority of these attitudes never receive much mainstream challenge.