Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Sun does it again

Another week, another scandalous story from Murdoch juggernaut, The Sun newspaper.
The other week, it was "guess who has HIV?". 

This week, the Sun insists that 20% of British Muslims are sympathetic to jihadists somehow.

It wasn't long, though, before more enlightened publications pointed out major holes in the Sun's story.
To make matters worse, the polling company the Sun quoted for the story has distanced itself from the Sun's claims.

So what did the Sun actually claim?

The Sun claimed 1 in 5 British Muslims supported supported jihadists, in its big bold headline.
Except the poll didn't ask about jihadists. It asked about how respondents felt about people travelling off to Syria to fight. It didn't ask WHO these people were fighting for.

The Independent newspaper rightly noted that some British people who've gone to fight in Syria have actually gone and joined the Kurds, who are opposed to the likes of ISIL.

The same Indy article also identifies a problem common in these kinds of polls. If you use the word "sympathy" as part of a question, you ought to expect some kind of emotive response, whatever the question.

One final note: in the same kind of questioning, 14% of Britidh non-Muslims agreed that they were "sympathetic" to those heading off to fight in Syria. Does that mean they love ISIL too? Of course not.

But the Sun newspaper doesn't care. The story is out there now. All we can do, when the Sun publishes this kind of dishonest information is to fact check it, and publically call the Sun out.
It won't halt their sloppy reporting, but at least it might make a Sun reader pause now and then, and consider their reading habits from now on.

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