Yes, ‘hero’ is a very strong and clichéd word, but when someone has the courage to speak out when no-one else has the courage to do so, that is definitely something to notice. Especially if that someone is from the journalistic community — people who are paid to write, analyse and think. In case you have not read, Richard Peppiatt has resigned from the Daily Star tabloid with quite some style. In addition to other things, he has written a justified criticism of the tabloid for its Islamophobic stance. He writes,
*While the Daily Star isn’t the only paper with a case to answer, I reckon it’s certainly the ugliest duckling of an unsightly flock. . . . . Not that my involvement in stirring up a bit of light-hearted Islamaphobia stopped there. Many a morning I’ve hit my speed dial button to Muslim rent-a-rant Anjem Choudary to see if he fancied pulling together a few lines about whipping drunks or stoning homosexuals. Our caustic “us and them” narrative needs nailing home every day or two, and when asked to wield the hammer I was too scared for my career, and my bank account, to refuse. *
May we request courageous reporters from Channel 4, The Independent, Murdoch-owned media, and the Newsquest family of community newspapers to rise up and be counted. Modern Britain needs journalists with integrity much more than it ever did before. It is never too late to stand up for the truth.