The Daily Mail's moral stand over 'Emo' protests

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 3 June 2008

If I had been eating my cornflakes when I read the Daily Mail's statement about the recent protests over its coverage of the 'Emo' music scene, I'm fairly certain I would have choked on them.

The Daily Mail defended its coverage:

"The Daily Mail's coverage of the 'Emo' movement has been balanced, restrained and above all, in the public interest."

They also claimed their articles had used:

"calm and un-sensational language"

You might find that hard to reconcile with a Daily Mail article that appeared in my Del.icio.us links a little while ago - "Why no child is safe from the sinister cult of emo". It was a comment piece by Tom Rawstorne which appeared to put the musical genre into the same category of child-threatening evil that the Daily Mail usually reserves for serial paedophiles and the MMR vaccine.

The Daily Mail on Emo

But it was the last paragraph of the Mail's statement that really caught my eye. Blaming much of the protest on a misunderstanding of what had actually been written by the paper and what was just user comment on blogs:

"The Daily Mail is a broad church and is always ready to listen to the views of readers. We do, however, suggest those who want to protest or comment read everything we have published and act on fact not rumour."

Just imagine - if they held themselves to that high standard, and only reported on fact rather than rumour, their entire celebrity gossip section would vanish in a instant!

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