UK media organizations have made string of corrections and retractions as result of one man’s campaign for fair coverage. British media organizations have been forced to make a string of corrections and retractions over recent months relating to coverage of Muslims following routine monitoring. Miqdaad Versi, an assistant general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, has undertaken a personal project to track articles about Islam and Muslims in order to spot misrepresentations and inaccuracies.
He has secured almost 20 corrections and retractions, and a further 20 complaints are being examined by the press regulator, Ipso. Several complaints have been rejected. Among the published corrections was a story published on the Sun website last week, originally headlined: “SUPERMARKET TERROR: Gunman ‘screaming Allahu Akbar’ opens fire in Spanish supermarket while ‘carrying bag filled with petrol and gunpowder’.” After Versi complained, the headline was changed to “SUPERMARKET HORROR: Gunman opens fire in Spanish supermarket while ‘carrying bag filled with petrol and gunpowder’.” The corrected text included a denial by local police and a spokesperson for the supermarket chain that the suspect had shouted “Allahu Akbar”. The Sun appended an apology to the story. Neither the Mail nor the Express corrected similar headlines.
Another was a story published on Mail Online suggesting the murder of a Muslim mother had been motivated by religion. The original headline said: “Mother of four stabbed to death while her family were at a funeral ‘may have been murdered in Islamic honor killing’.” Versi complained to the news organization, saying “honor killings” were rooted in culture not religion. Mail Online amended its headline to: “Mother of four stabbed to death while her family were at a funeral ‘may have been murdered in honor killing’”, and added a footnote stating: “An earlier version of this article said that police were investigating whether Ms Khan may have been murdered in an ‘Islamic honor killing’. We are happy to make clear that Islam as a religion does not support so-called ‘honor killings’.”
A study by Cambridge University last year found that the focus on “negative narratives” in media reporting about Muslims in the UK was contributing to an atmosphere of rising hostility.
Source: The Guardian