Advertisers with one of the UK’s biggest-selling regional dailies have been targeted by the British National Party after it ran a major investigation into the far-right group.
Commercial clients of the Manchester Evening News have been directly contacted by the far-right political party following the paper’s decision to run a series of stories under the banner ‘BNP – The Truth’ (see left).
The title is taking a firm editorial stance against the party, covering topics such as how it has used resources to mask its origins and its policies on repatriating non-white Britons.
But the BNP is now urging its supporters to complain to the MEN’s advertisers in the hope that, if enough of its supporters complain, advertisers will in turn request that the MEN changes it editorial policy.
Editor Paul Horrocks told HTFP: “I’ve not had any complaints but there are a small number of advertisers who have let us know they received correspondence via email from the BNP.
“I’ve sent a response to these advertisers apologising for the fact they’ve been emailed.
“We will be continuing our campaign ‘The Truth’ which we started last Tuesday with a front page using a lot of information that is available about the BNP and its leader Nick Griffin.”
The MEN has said it will continue its series of articles up to Thursday’s vote.
Nick Griffin is standing in Thursday’s European Election in the North West in a bid to win one of eight seats in Brussels.
Research has suggested he only needs around 8pc of the vote to be elected.
A spokesman for the BNP said: “Our attitude to the Manchester Evening News is that we won’t deal with them anymore.
“They are particularly bad. We don’t take these things lying down and we’re lobbying to put pressure on these people to deal with us fairly.”
kevin mcgill (02/06/2009 10:24:17)
National Union of Lying,corrupt,Journalist.
peter lazenby (02/06/2009 10:40:08)
Congratulations to the MEN on its principled stand against a party of racists, fascists and bigots. Every newspaper in the country should take the same stand and expose the BNP for what it really is.
liz o’reilly (02/06/2009 10:46:04)
This is what proper journalism is about, it the stories were untrue I’m sure the BNP would not hesitate to issue legal proceedings for defamation. As it is they are reduced to targeting advertisers which shows they have no respect for reporting of the news and think positive coverage can be bought – this may, in fact, be the case with some papers. As journalists, we all know that newspapers have to bring in revenue but it should not be dictated by advertising and should never be at the expense of accurately reporting on the issues.
stewart perkins (02/06/2009 10:49:55)
Why is it that every time a BNP supporter puts pen to paper or opens his mouth we are readily reminded of why they have no decent journalists themselves?
Hannah (02/06/2009 12:34:34)
Interesting that the people supporting the BNP’s stance on the comments board here just give sound-bites and don’t show any proper argument to defent what they believe. I wonder why that is.
Chris Morley (02/06/2009 13:53:54)
This is a perfect example of the anti-democratic nature of the BNP. When they are exposed they try to get at the journalists carrying out their proper professional duties. If I was an advertiser in these circumstances I would definitely want my name to be associated with such a newspaper and would take no account of any BNP contact. On the other hand, I think legitimate advertisers would think twice about spending their money where their ads are put alongside those of the BNP.
Paul (02/06/2009 15:48:29)
Robert, you’ve just proved my point. Well done. Go and get a pat on the head from Mr Griffin
Observer (02/06/2009 16:05:18)
It’s always a clear signal that when someone attacks the arguer rather than the argument, they’ve already lost the argument.
Janice Livings (02/06/2009 16:54:37)
Chris Morley you are a total hypocrite. You feel its ok for you to initially complain to papers and advertisers yet its “undemocratic” the other way around. People like you encourage others to vote BNP.
Bert (19/06/2009 10:34:58)
Victory for the BNP; Humiliation for the Manchester Evening News.
Paul Horrocks, the editor of the Manchester Evening News has now been forced to respond to the avalanche of hostile correspondence with a hand-wringing defence of his failed anti-BNP campaign. “We thought long and hard about taking the stand we did and we knew we would be accused of telling people how to vote. We thought it was a risk worth taking…“, he protested to his irate readers.