The Students’ Union at City University have controversially voted to ban three major tabloids from their campus.
A motion was passed at the London University’s annual general meeting to prohibit; The Sun, Daily Mail and Express from appearing on the university’s campus.
Known for having one of the largest and most respected journalism department’s in the country, it is understood that the vote by the Student Union is the first of its kind in the country.
The vote to ban the newspapers was conducted at the annual generation meeting following a motion
titled: “Opposing Fascism and Social Divisiveness in the UK Media”. The resolution to ban states that there is “no place for The Sun, Express, or Daily Mail (In their current form) on City, University of London campuses or properties”.
In its motion, the proposal claims that the named tabloids publish stories that demonise refugees and minorities. The papers have also printed Islamophobic stories actively scapegoating “the working classes they so proudly claim to represent”.
The proposal, although largely symbolic, is a powerful statement from a University whose reputation as a school for journalism is of the highest order.
As a principle, the right to freedom of expression, both good and bad, is an important cornerstone of British journalism. It is therefore likely that the supported proposal is will embarrass City University in many ways.
However, in a bid to retain fairness and offer the papers a right of reply, the proposal indicates that the Union should also “use the University’s industry contacts to reach out to employees and shareholders of the media outlets in question”.
Speaking to the news site Press Gazette, City University student, Jack Fenwick said: “As a journalism student I’m really worried that I’m now a member of an organisation whose official policy is to ban national newspapers.
“If people don’t agree with these publications, they should be holding debates, not pretending they don’t exist.”
The motion passed by City University was titled: “Opposing Fascism and Social Divisiveness in the UK Media”.
It claims that: “The motion focuses on three UK newspapers. This does not exclude other media organisations from this motion. These were merely used as high profile examples.”