Campaign group Media Workers Against War is planning a series of protests outside Fleet Street offices against coverage of asylum seekers and Muslims that it claims ‘encourage racist stereotyping”.
Last week, the group organised a protest outside the Daily Express offices and announced it would be planning more at other newspaper offices.
Around 40 journalists, anti-war activists and members of religious groups turned up to the event aimed at highlighting what it described as a series of ‘inflammatory’stories and headlines in the paper since mid-January.
MWAW sent a letter to Express proprietor Richard Desmond and editor Peter Hill outlining examples that had appeared in the paper such as: ‘Over 860 migrants flood in every day”, ‘Muslim laws must come to Britain’and ‘Migrants send crime rate soaring”.
The letter said the headlines ‘do nothing to inform Express readers – on the contrary they encourage racist stereotyping and contempt”.
One Express journalist, who wished to remain anonymous, said he believed the protesters were ‘barking up the wrong tree”.
He said: ‘I think they are wasting their time – they won’t achieve anything and Muslims are no more under attack than anyone else. The Express hates everybody, not just Muslims. You see those headlines in all the papers. They employ lots of Muslims here.”
Chair of MWAW and FT journalist David Crouch said: ‘We’ve decided to protest here at the Express because since mid-January they have run a series of what we believe are inflammatory front page splashes targeting Muslims and immigrants.
‘We want to make clear that our quarrel is not with the journalists here – it’s very much with the owner and the senior management who we know, historically, have made conscious interventions on the paper’s front page to rewrite headlines and renose stories.
‘So we decided to start with the Express, but the interest that has been shown in this protest will encourage us to take the protest elsewhere.”
The Express declined to comment.