I’ve welcomed the commitment of the new Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport to press newspaper editors on building social cohesion, in response to the rise in hate crime.
In the House of Commons I said that some sections of the press shared a responsibility for creating the climate for the rise in hate crimes since the EU referendum and asked the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley if she would meet with newspaper editors to discuss their contribution to building social cohesion. She said that she would raise my concerns in meetings with them.
The media play 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 have 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.
I’m pleased that the Secretary of State has agreed to raise these very serious concerns with newspaper editors. I’ll follow the issue closely and hope that her talks can make a difference.