Don’t Sensationalise Antisemitism – MDI Writes to the Evening Standard

Country: UK

Published: 24 November 2015

Evening_Standard_MDI_ComplainThe Evening Standard, free press newspaper distributed in the London area, in two occasions has been quick in labelling as antisemitic an act of vandalism that appears not to be such and has used inaccurate information about the vandalised statue.

The MDI executive director has written to the managing editor of the Evening Standard to ask the paper to keep reporting antisemitic attacks, but not to use sensationalistic headlines and inaccurate information that would mislead its readers.

The Evening Standard has not replied yet to our complaint.


Dear Doug Wills,


We would like to complain about some inaccuracies of your paper when reporting on a recent act of vandalism in London.

We were surprised to see your factual  mistakes presented in the article ‘Vandals desecrate east London Jewish memorial with raw meat’ (August, 20), repeated in the article ‘Swastika graffiti daubed on wall near synagogue in Highgate shocks Jewish community’ (November, 17).

Having in mind the current and recent events in France (and the rest of Europe) and the audience you (can) reach as a free paper offered to millions of London commuters every day, we believe it’s important what and how such a popular paper such as ES reports. Why putting ‘Jewish memorial’ in the title (August, 20), when it is clear from your story that it is NOT a Jewish memorial? It is a memorial to Queen Victoria’s Son funded by Jewish community.

Then, again, in your article published on November 17, the reporter used the same claim to illustrate ‘a spate of anti-Semitic crimes in London’ – this time without even bothering to explain what the reporter meant by the ‘Jewish memorial’.

Swastika graffiti is bad enough. You don’t need to worsen the problem by sensationalising it. Your readers, mainly commuters, often read only the headlines and go home mislead.

We are very aware of the raising of antisemitism through our Get the trolls out! which tries to get traditional and social media report on this particular community in a responsible and professional way, as they are expected to do with any other community. The ES can do it.


The Media Diversity Institute advocate for a responsible media coverage of diversity and prevent the media from intentionally or unintentionally spreading prejudice, intolerance and hatred. Within the project Get The Trolls Out! whenever we spot antisemitism in the media, unfair coverage of antisemitism or of the Jewish community in Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary and the United Kingdom, we respond using different complaint procedures.