Friday 25 May 2018

British media churns out fact-free cheerleading on border

No substantive trade talks can happen until Britain addresses the thorny border element of Brexit negotiations

European Council President Donald Tusk Photo: Virginia Mayo/AP/PA
European Council President Donald Tusk Photo: Virginia Mayo/AP/PA
Colm McCarthy

Colm McCarthy

If you are out of work, grew up on a dairy farm and fancy a career in journalism, there could be an opening at the Daily Telegraph in London.

Last Monday, the paper revealed, courtesy of opinion columnist Juliet Samuel, that Northern Ireland's exports of milk to the Republic wend their way southwards in churns, reassuring readers that '…the UK will not be putting up watchtowers to inspect milk churns'. On Thursday, her colleague Anna Isaac offered an even more colourful account of the dairy industry's transport arrangements, explaining that '...cows are moved to Ireland to be milked, that milk is moved to Northern Ireland to be processed into cream and butter, and then sent back again to Ireland to be sold'. Ms Isaac's insight appeared in the news section of a paper that, once upon a time, set the standard for news coverage in the British broadsheets.

Fact-free coverage in British newspapers, notably the Mail, Express, Telegraph and Sun, has fuelled Europhobia since the 1970s and is now cheerleading every blunder in the implementation of the referendum result.

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