Channel 4 journalist Fatima Manji has responded to Kelvin MacKenzie’s column in the UK Sun criticizing her TV network for having her report on the news of Nice truck attack last week. As iMediaEthics previously reported, MacKenzie, a former Sun editor, claimed it was inappropriate for Manji, who is Muslim and wears a hijab, to be on air that night.
Meanwhile, more than 1,700 complaints have been filed with press regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation, IPSO told iMediaEthics July 21. iMediaEthics has written to the Sun for comment. We previously tweeted Manji for comment but haven’t had any response yet.
“I’m not expecting an apology from him any time soon,” Manji wrote in a column for the Liverpool Echo, bringing up MacKenzie’s handling of the Hillsborough tragedy and the Sun‘s columnist calling refugees “cockroaches.”
(MacKenzie apologized in 2012 with the Sun over the newspaper’s 1989 reporting on Hillsborough, a sports disaster where 96 Liverpool supporters died, because he was editor at the time. The Sun said it was “deeply ashamed and profoundly sorry” over its reporting which took the side of the police and wrongly criticized Liverpool fans. In 2015, Sun columnist Katie Hopkins compared migrants to cockroaches).
“But it’s dangerous to regard Mr MacKenzie and those who echo his Islamophobic sentiments as mere pantomime villains,” she wrote. “Their soapbox allows them to spread their ill-informed, irresponsible and malevolent invective to millions of readers. Racist and Islamophobic rhetoric has real consequences – lives have been lost and shattered in our own country.”
Manji said that she plans to continue reporting despite what she called MacKenzie’s attempt to “smear” all Muslims, including herself.
THE TRUTH: I'm here to stay, Kelvin MacKenzie https://t.co/5cw82GpCKL
— Fatima Manji (@fatimamanji) July 19, 2016
“The truth is I always pride myself on journalistic integrity regardless of who I’m interviewing or what story I’m covering,” she commented. “That is my mission at Channel 4 News. I will not be deterred in this mission by the efforts of those who find the presence of Muslims in British cultural life offensive.”
Read Manji’s full article here.
Hat Tip: The Independent