Fire Cathy Newman for Incitement to Hatred and Lack of Integrity
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This petition calls for Channel 4 to immediately terminate Cathy Newman's employment owing to her irresponsible behaviour, complete lack of integrity and outright incitement of hatred and violence through her shameless lying. Her actions have cast both the profession and channel into disrepute. Following recent events and at a period when Islamophobia is reaching epic proportions, when mosques and worshipers alike have frequently been the target of attacks (some mosques having been burnt to the ground), Channel 4 cannot and must not allow such behaviour to go unchecked.
Newman (whose Twitter account describes herself as a "Channel 4 Presenter and blogger for the Telegraph) hit the headlines after she tweeted on Sunday saying that she was “ushered out of” the South London Islamic Centre in Streatham. She was due to visit another mosque in the area as part of the "Visit a Mosque" day initiative, setup as a way of building and strengthening community relations, especially after the Paris attacks. The tweet led to several days of Islamophobic commentary on social media with Muslims once again placed under the spotlight. The mosque she entered subsequently received a number of angry calls and death threats. CCTV footage was then released showing her conversing with a worshiper at the mosque and upon realising that she had arrived at the wrong place (not participating in the initiative that day, they invited her for a later date afterwards) she promptly left on her own.
Had the CCTV footage not been released the hate-train would have continued on its journey unabated. Her half-hearted forced tweet in response to the footage didn't even contain half an apology, only citing a 'misunderstanding' which no doubt would have gone unsaid had she not been caught out red-handed for her fabricated version of events. Journalists and reporters are duty-bound to honest reporting, something she could learn a thing or two about from her colleague Jon Snow as opposed to riding the Islamophobia wave knowing you are quite likely to get away with it, regardless of the potential serious consequences of your actions.
The following are relevant extracts from the Channel 4 website outlining their Social Media Policy (Channel 4 Social Media Guidelines):
"Postings on personal websites / accounts - Where the posting is to a personal page or account and where you are individually responsible for the content and not legally subject to the editorial control of Channel 4, but you must abide by the policy above."
"On personal sites, where you identify yourself as working for Channel 4 output, you should avoid making statements that could be perceived as taking a position on a political issue of the day and it may be appropriate to place a disclaimer underlining that your comments are personal opinion. If your profile is such that you are likely to be identified as working for Channel 4 or any of its services, seek guidance if you are considering posting statements on matters of political or public controversy." [She did no such thing]
"Behaviour that is inappropriate at work is usually not appropriate on the internet. On Channel 4 designated sites and sites where you identify yourself as a person working on C4 output, avoid abusive or aggressive behaviour and respond to others in a professional manner."
"If there is a risk that the opinions published could be viewed as those of Channel 4, it is usually appropriate to post a disclaimer e.g. "These comments are my personal views and opinions, not the views or opinions of Channel 4"." [Again she did no such thing]
Channel 4's continued employment of journalists with no integrity and a penchant for fibs and flouting company policies will only reflect badly on them within the wider media industry. We trust they will do the right thing.
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