Tuesday, 22 November 2016

City students vote to ban The Sun, Express, and Daily Mail

City University students have voted to ban newspapers including The Sun, Express, and Daily Mail, saying they have “no place” on campus.

The motion, aimed at opposing fascism and social divisiveness in the UK media, argue that the three newspapers in question “demonise refugees and minorities” and “actively scapegoat the working classes.”

The newspapers in question give a platform to far-right figures such as Nigel Farage, Richard Littlejohn, and Katie Hopkins; people who City students argue shout not have a voice in the mainstream media.

The newspapers’ front page headlines have also stirred controversy recently. The Daily Mail dubbed three senior judges “Enemies of the People” after they ruled that Parliament should have a say on Brexit. Earlier this month, the Express compared the court’s Brexit decision to a crisis on the same level as World War Two.

This decision to ban the newspaper comes only weeks after Lego announced that they would no longer be using the Daily Mail for free giveaways. The lobbying group ‘Stop Funding Hate’ is urging John Lewis, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer to do the same.

The City University motion also resolved that University contacts in the media industry should reach out to journalists and shareholders of the three newspapers in question.

Esteemed Sunday Times columnist Camilla Long tweeted that City’s decision to ban the three papers is “100% pathetic.” Many more argue that it will be a breach of freedom of speech if the University attempts to dictate what students can read and cannot read.

According to The Guardian, some journalism students at City are threatening to pull of the union in protest against the decision. City has a renowned journalism department and many graduates go on to find jobs working for the Sun, Mail or Express.

It is unclear how City will attempt to ban the newspapers. The journalism department has already stated that they will not block students’ access to the newspapers. Furthermore, some students find the notion absurd that walking through campus evening holding the Daily Mail might be against the rules soon.

Although student unions around the country have previously boycotted The Sun in protest of topless page three models, a blanket ban of three major newspapers has never been done before. The consensus on this ban appears to be: if students don’t want to read The Sun, Daily Mail, or Express, they simply shouldn’t buy it.