The Bristol Cable
The Cable joins in protest at the Society’s statements about racism in the British media.

The Bristol Cable will be withdrawing our submissions to the Society of Editors (SoE) Regional Press Awards 2021, in protest at the statement made by the SoE claiming that there is no racism in the British media. 

In response to statements made by Meghan Markle in the interview with Oprah, Ian Murrary, the now-resigned executive director of the Society of Editors, made the claim that “the press is most certainly not racist”. 

The statement as whole, and this specific claim is not one we can support, because it would not be supported by any fair-minded analysis of powerful and influential parts of the British press.

Though the spark for the SoE statement and subsequent backlash was Markle’s interview, the reality is that implicit and explicit racism has long been present in parts of the British media, often cynically used to attract clicks and sales. Despite being regularly called out by campaigners and others, in most cases those bearing the brunt have been ordinary members of the public, who simply have not had the platform that the Duchess had to expose it.

The failure by industry leaders to address this has real world consequences. For example on increasing hate crime, politics and policies that perpetuate racial injustice such as the ongoing discrimination in law enforcement, and inhibited professional opportunities for members of diverse communities. The SoE’s subsequent statement of clarification does not acknowledge or commit to working to address this. 

As such, we join in protest and solidarity with those affected by such practises, and industry colleagues and publishers who have since withdrawn from the Press Awards, the Society of Editors awards for national publishers. 

As a community-owned newspaper working to reimagine local news within an industry in crisis, awards are an important part of growing our profile, raising funds, and in-turn serving our communities the best we can. It is a shame that our hard work on investigating serious issues at the private psychiatric hospital the Priory Hospital Bristol, our ground-breaking podcast Bristol Unpacked, and the weekly Covid newsletter which has helped guide our readers through the pandemic won’t get this chance to be recognised. But the Cable’s principles are more important, and, like our 100% member-owned newspaper, not for sale. 

We also acknowledge that the Cable, as is so clearly the case with the sector as a whole, has much work to do to better cover issues across diverse communities, and to champion and progress the long struggle for racial justice, inside and outside our newsroom and organisation.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related content

Have your say: Should Bristol ban strips clubs?

Bristol is considering a ban on strip clubs, officially known as sexual entertainement venues, which has sparked a divisive debate in the city. This week, the...

Listen: Bristol Unpacked with Tory Police and Crime commissioner Mark Shelford, on crime, riots and institutional racism in policing

The new PCC on the Police and Crime Bill, the riot and protests in Bristol and how policing can be just and effective.

Battle over Bristol’s strip clubs reignited as licenses renewed for now

Bristol’s two sexual entertainment venues have their licenses renewed, but council plans could see them banned next year.

‘That’s not the way to legislate’: Lords slam the Police and Crime Bill for being too big, wide-ranging and draconian

This week the government’s controversial proposed legislation was debated in the House of Lords, with peers joining a chorus of voices who have criticised its measures to quash protest and criminalise trespass.

More children in care are being housed outside Bristol as Covid fallout bites

The number of children in the care of Bristol City Council being housed in children's homes outside the city has nearly doubled since early in the pandemic.

St Anne’s: in the block and woods

A series of photos showing a community group in St Anne's learning photography, in a free workshop run by two UWE Bristol volunteers.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday