A brief summary of the 65-page report, which has been researched and written jointly by me and by Paddy French.
1. Andrew Norfolk, the chief investigative reporter of the Times newspaper, published three series of front-page articles relating to Muslims in a period of 15 months – all of which were fundamentally inaccurate.
2. In each case he presented a Muslim or Muslims as posing a threat to white people or to wider society when the facts did not support this.
3. He did this even though at that time Muslims were already suffering peak levels of hate crime.
4. His three series of articles began with these reports: ‘Christian child forced into Muslim foster care’ (28/8/17), ‘Security stepped up after scathing report led to death threats’ (25/7/18), and ‘Jailed rapist given chance to see his victim’s child’ (27/11/18).
5. Our analysis of Norfolk’s methods indicates that important facts were omitted or marginalised, untrustworthy or inadequate witnesses were relied on, quotations were taken out of context, expert testimony was ignored – and there were clearly shortcomings in verification.
6. We found that, in our view, the key omitted facts should have been known to any responsible and conscientious journalist, who, we believe, would have given them prominence in any report.
7. The Times newspaper management fully endorsed Norfolk’s flawed reporting, putting it on the front page, supporting it in editorials and comment articles and defending it stubbornly even as contrary evidence mounted up.
8. Though its readers have in our view been seriously misled, the paper has never adequately corrected or apologised for, let alone withdrawn, the key articles.
9. IPSO, the paper’s complaints handler, has done the least it could to uphold standards in these cases, essentially giving the reporter and his paper free rein to continue.
10. We call on the Times to instigate a credible, independent inquiry (not involving IPSO) into what has gone wrong. If they refuse, it should be taken as evidence that Norfolk’s ethical standards are those of the paper as a whole. Every journalist working for the paper in any capacity will be tainted.
The full UNMASKED report can be read here [pdf]:
This post was originally published on Byline.com and is reproduced with permission and thanks.