A new report finds that nearly half of all newspaper immigration stories since 2006 relied on statements or arguments made by the journalist, rather than reporting the views of external sources such as policy-makers, NGOs, community organizations or academics.
This practice is an apparent breach of the NUJ’s code of conduct that requires journalists to ‘distinguish between fact and opinion’. It ialso appears to ignore the Editors Code of Practice devised by the press regulator Ipso. This says that, in relation to accuracy, ‘The Press, while free to editorialize and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact’.
Key findings of the Migration Observatory report include:
- A sharp increase in newspaper migration coverage over the course of the Conservative-led coalition government from 2010
- A significant decline in discussion of the legal status of migrants and an increase in the focus on the scale of migration from 2009 onwards.
- A rise in the relative importance of discussion relating to ‘limiting’ or ‘controlling’ migration since 2010
- A sharp increase in the frequency of discussion of migrants from the EU/Europe which spiked in 2014 when migrants from Romania and Bulgaria achieved full access to the UK labor market
- A tendency for journalists themselves to play the role of framing problems in the migration debate, rather than simply reporting on analysis by politicians or think-tanks, for example
- A tendency to hold politicians responsible for problems relating to EU migration, while migrants themselves are more likely to be held responsible for problems relating to illegal migration.
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This piece was reprinted by Migrant Tales with permission.