Stop Funding Hate – writers and publishers
I’ve long avoided books that offer a Daily Mail pullquote on the front or back covers and a version of this post has been in the drafts folder for months, years even but I couldn’t find the right words without sounding sanctimonious and/or ridiculously over-sensitive. Yet the Daily Mail, both print and online, is getting worse in its vociferously hate-filled, bigoted and divisive output (and outright racist and homophobic writing by some of their columnists).
2016 has seen blow after blow for those of us who “lean left” politically speaking (Brexit, Trump, Marine le Pen, et al) so I’m cheered to see the popularity of the #StopFundingHate movement on Twitter. Lego was the first big name company to cease advertising in the Daily Mail, others are likely to follow and I’m delighted to see big name authors joining in, despite the fact that it might hurt sales.
Young Adult author Melinda Salisbury (whose covers are soon to be featured here) has also stepped up – here’s the article in The Bookseller. Salisbury has also written about her decision more fully in The Guardian:
Acknowledging there is a problem is usually the first step to solving it. For me, there is a problem with the messages some newspapers are sending. I have a problem with the way social, political and economic situations are framed and re-framed to fit the overarching message newspapers want to send, regardless of the damage that causes. I’m not talking about gloomy economic forecasts or predictions regarding trade and free movement – I’m talking about direct effects on lives, here, now. I’m talking about people being attacked, intimidated, threatened, victimised. I’m talking about the open championing of hate, without being held to account for it. So I need to acknowledge it, and my part in it. As a very clever man once said: “If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.”
I’m hopeful that any lost sales are made up by Guardian readers adding her to their Christmas gift purchase lists. There are two teens in my family who’ll be getting a set of Salisbury’s books with their beautiful covers designed by Jamie Gregory at Scholastic UK.
Here’s an article by Rosey Ellum on why it’s so important to take a stand:
Headlines demonizing refugees and migrants, women, people who claim benefits, the list can go on. Scare stories about a ‘swarm’ of ‘invaders’, ‘milking Britain’s benefits’ and ‘stealing jobs’ have become so commonplace we almost stop noticing them.>
‘It’s not enough to just to not buy the papers anymore’
When The Sun called migrants ‘cockroaches’ in 2015 even the UN human rights commission intervened noting ‘decades of sustained and unrestrained anti-foreigner abuse, misinformation and distortion’ and urged ‘UK authorities… to take steps to curb incitement to hatred by British tabloid newspapers, in line with the country’s obligations under national and international law.’