Publication type: News
Author: Friends, Families and Travellers
In 2009, the Sun newspaper carried a scurrilous and inaccurate article suggesting that a group of Gypsies had damaged a police helicopter which, it claimed, had been carrying out surveillance of an encampment. Emma Nuttall of Friends, Families and Travellers checked the facts with the police and discovered that, not only was there no evidence linking the damage to the helicopter with Gypsies but the police had not been carrying out surveillance of the site as the paper had claimed. Emmas persistence in following this up resulted in a retraction and an apology from the Sun. Needless to say that whilst the original article was blazoned in banner headlines the apology was hidden away in small type on an inner page. It does show though that it is possible to challenge misreporting of this kind, and it is important that we never let the media get away with irresponsible and prejudiced journalism.
Today individual, institutional and structural racism and discrimination against Gypsies and Travellers remains a major concern, and FFT continues to challenge the tabloid promotion of racist and ill-informed attitudes that still run like an obscene thread through the whole fabric of our society.
Chair of FFTs Board of Trustees Liz Watkins