Call me old-fashioned, but I belive that journalism should be impartial and factual. It should not inflame potentially volatile situations.
It is a shame that the Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday/Mail Online do not agree with this.
In the last week, there has been a flurry of information on the Iraq situation, which has been both informative but also I believe, scaremonguring. The situation out there is very bad and scary (yeah, I am great with words), but I honestly think publications like the Mail are trying to scare the UK into putting pressure on the government, be it the UK or the US, to intervene. What do they have to gain? It worries me.
Not as much as the following two examples though…
Headlines screamed last week that a Saudi woman, Nahid Almanea, was murdered because she was wearing an abaya and hajib.
If, and only if, you read through the rest of the article did you see that it was one of the theories that police were working with.
It is absolutely disgraceful to take a possible theory and run it as a headline. What makes it worse is that it is in a squaddy town (Colchester) and running next to articles where ISIS jihadists are urging people to replicate the slaughter of Fusilier Drummer Lee Rigby.
I really wish I was kidding.
Today sees an 88yr old great-grandfather “exposed” as a Nazi War Criminal. Mychajlo Ostapenko was apparently a member of the 31st Punitive Battalion who were responsible for so many horrific war crimes.
If, and only if, you read through the rest of the article did you see that “there is no evidence Mr Ostapenko took part in any war crimes, but campaigners say he may have been a witness”.
Again… are you kidding? No. Sadly not.
The Mail have put a photo of this elderly gentleman up. They have splashed his name and the area he lives all over the internet. With what evidence? Basically none. They know that he was a member of the battalion, not that he was an active or willing participant in the WW2 atrocities attributed to them.
How many soldiers do you know who have had to carry out the orders of their superiors or be punished themselves? I fully agree with chasing down the decision makers. These are the war criminals. If you can show me evidence that a person actively took part in the murders and enjoyed or relished their roles, then again, fair enough. But from what I have read, no one chose where they ended up, on either side. You were put in a position and you had to serve. Something else that maybe should be remembered.
So, in conclusion to my rant, because I really am very annoyed by this level of irresponsibility, the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday and the Mail online should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. The editors and whomever runs the shows should be held accountable for anything that is incited following reading their poorly written articles. Because mark my words… if they carry on like this, they will not be able to wash that blood off their hands.