MDI Complains to IPSO and The Telegraph

Date: 28 September 2018

Country: UK

Informal_meeting_of_foreign_affairs_ministers_Gymnich._Round_table_Boris_Johnson_36913612672_croppedAfter the Telegraph published a discriminatory piece by former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) complained to the paper. As the leading partner in the Get the Trolls Out project, MDI submitted an official complaint to The Telegraph stating that the newspaper has breached  IPSO’s Editors’ Code of Practice, specifically code 12, regarding discrimination. The rule says: “The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s, race, colour, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.”

MDI has requested answers on why the Telegraph published Johnson’s Islamophobic remarks against Muslim women wearing the full face veil, what action was taken within  the media outlet afterwards, and what could be done to prevent a recurrence in the future. As the Telegraph denied breaching article number 12 of the IPSO’s code without justification, MDI has contacted IPSO directly. IPSO told us “their guidelines apply to an identifiable individual’s religion only”.

The Editors’ Code is a set of rules that newspaper and magazine industry members have agreed to accept. It sets the standards that newspapers and magazines can be held to account by IPSO and is part of the contract between IPSO and the newspapers and magazines it regulates.

Within MDI project Get the Trolls Out, which focusses on countering religious hate speech, our partners and monitors announced that the Troll of the Month is indeed Boris Johnson. The Troll of the Month is an episode we choose every month to expose racist and anti-religious haters and to show the positive outcomes in the fight against religious intolerance in Europe.