The culture secretary, Karen Bradley, has said she will talk to newspaper editors about how they can tackle a rise in hate crime and improve social cohesion.
A report released by the National Police Chiefs Council on Thursday revealed a major increase in hate crimes since the EU referendum, in which both politicians and the press focused heavily on immigration.
During parliamentary questions, the Labour MP Paul Blomfield cited the role of the press in creating a charged atmosphere that could contribute to hate crimes and asked Bradley to raise the issue with newspaper editors.
He said: Sections of the press share a responsibility for creating the climate in which that is happening, and all of them have an opportunity to change it.
Bradley replied that she would bring the issue up in the course of planned meetings with editors. She said: I am, of course, meeting editors and others to discuss many points, and I assure the honourable gentleman that I will raise this one.
Bradley was the Home Office minister responsible for tackling hate crime prior to being appointed culture secretary in Theresa May’s new government.
Blomfield later issued a statement welcoming Bradley’s commitment, saying he would follow the issue closely.
He said: The media plays a big part in shaping public attitudes. They have a particular responsibility to reflect on the consequences of headlines and stories in provoking fear and anger between different groups.
Inflammatory, divisive and misleading reporting, especially on immigration and asylum, can encourage the sort of violence that has shocked the country.
It’s important that newspaper editors recognise how influential they can be and take steps to ensure they don’t contribute to the appalling rise in hate crimes we’ve witnessed since the EU referendum.
Research published earlier this month by the former Sunday Times journalist Liz Gerard found that large sections of the press, led by the Daily Mail and Daily Express, had since the 2010 general election regularly lead with negative stories about refugees and asylum seekers.
News Source TheGuardianNews