By Eric King And Rob Marsh-
Diana Abbott was maltreated by some sections of the British press last year after she complained of being the victim of racism on Good Morning Britain. The topic has been highlighted as part of a process of closely inspecting sections of the press that act irresponsibly and doing something about it.
Members of the press, like celebrities or anybody else should not be able to act wrongly without being held to task. The need for proper accountability is more important in more serious issues. Labour Mp, Abbott has been in Parliament for 30 years, gathering a sea of experiences along the way. Abbott may not be everybody’s favoured by everybody but she has accomplished more than many people have in her careers. After complaining that she fell victim to racist treatment by twitter trolls, she used the N word to illustrate her point. She was immediately vilified by certain sections of the British press in a manner that has been quietly analysed over and over again by our sharp and thoughtful eyes.
The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Daily Star, The Express, Yahoo, The Scotsman and ITV, have been highlighted in a reflection of 2018 aimed at spotting some failings of the press that is to be followed up this month. Looking good of those who reported the story were the Independent and the Metro, both of whom expressed the obvious fact that the context in which she used the word was to highlight the racism she had been suffering online. Good Morning host, Piers Morgan criticised those who had taking issue with Abbot’s choice of using the word.
GMB host Pierce Morgan tweeted: “I’ve had my differences with Abbott but attacking her for using a word she is routinely attacked with is ridiculous. He was applauded for his criticism of Abbot’s critics, despite having had clashes with the Labour MP .Writer for the Independent, Biba King was particularly praised by our thinktank for her good article on the topic, rightly putting into perspective the context in which she had used the word.
Racism is an awful experience for any ethnic minority individual to experience, but when it is undermine, ignored, and even turned against the victim, it becomes a travesty.
Ms Abbott was responding to research produced by Amnesty International claiming that she had received half of the 25,600 abusive tweets directed at women. Abbott said at the time:
And when I say abuse, it’s not about people saying, ‘I disagree with you about nationalising the railways’, it’s people calling you a n***** b****, it’s people threatening acid attacks, it’s rape, it’s death threats“And it’s upsetting for me but it’s also very upsetting for my staff who have to see all this.”
The survey did not include deleted tweets, or those from suspended accounts, meaning the true extent of the abuse could have been even greater.
“It gets to you personally,” Ms Abbott told Good Morning Britain.
“I think I’m quite robust, I’ve been in politics for years, and you know, I’m used to the hurly burly. But it’s very undermining, it’s very humiliating and it gets so you almost don’t want to go online in the morning.”
“When we found out we were getting half of these abusive tweets, it was really quite frightening,” she added.
Presenter Ms Reid replies: “Absolutely right, and obviously people listening to those abusive terms will also be upset by them.“You’ve received them directly, we can’t broadcast them, obviously, on the programme at this time of the morning.”
Many sections of the press reported the story very badly, instead of taking a clear stand against the racism that had been demonstrated against the MP, instead focusing on the fact Abbott had used the N word in reporting her ordeal. This position from the press was weak, either unintelligent or racist, depending on the real reason behind the reports. Writers in each of the newspapers concerned are to be probed by The Eye Of Media.Com in an inquiry over the reason they took the stance they did, The decision to reflect on the incidence arose last month after Abbott called for twitter to overhaul its platform and ensure it cannot be abused by racists whose posts cannot be removed.
Racism is an illness that exists in every society which must not be tolerated.The issue was raised by a member of our thinktank and raised for discussion over two meetings. It was also raised briefly with Diana Abbott’s team before going for publication today. Abbott’s team were contacted for comment. Some of the publications have been contacted for for an explanation, but also to probe the journalists in question and make them aware we will be keeping a close eye on those particular journalists.
Others are due to be contacted in a further probe about the matter next week. The series of abuse also heaps pressure on twitter to raise the standard of its technological sophistication so that it can swiftly delete and ban offending twitter users in future, or even stop prohibited tweets from becoming visible.