Mail Fail? Newspaper slammed for ‘sickening’ article on refugees ruining Brits’ holiday
The Greek island of Kos has attracted over 1,200 refugees, who fled their home nations to escape poverty and conflict.
The tabloid is accused of showing scant remorse when describing the refugees as “penniless immigrants” in the article published on Wednesday.
The publication carried a story line suggesting the refugees were ruining the holiday island and making it untidy, but it failed to mention whether or not they had caused actual harm.
It said the immigrants had taken over a hotel with makeshift beds, while some washed with hoses outdoors.
The Mail Online headline reads: “How many more can Kos take? Holidaymaker misery as thousands of boat people from Syria and Afghanistan set up migrant camp to turn popular Greek Island into ‘disgusting’ hell hole.”
Referring to the immigrants as “boat people” has particularly angered critics.
The correspondent who wrote this article, Hannah Roberts, was branded “disgusting” on Twitter for compiling such a headline.
— Adam (@ADZtbh) May 28, 2015
— Adam (@ADZtbh) May 28, 2015
“It’s the headline that she put her name to that is equally disgusting,” a Twitter user said.
When Roberts noticed the outrage her story sparked on Twitter, she immediately tried to distance herself from her own work.
Anyone who knows the first thing about journalism knows that reporters never write the headlines https://t.co/4ZcH9TAGeN
— Hannah Roberts (@hanrobs) May 28, 2015
In defense, she tweeted: “Anyone that knows a first thing about journalism knows that reporters never write their headlines.”
The tweet backfired, as many users message her back questioning why she was “happy” to associate her name with the “racist” article.
@hanrobs stay off the internet today Hannah!
— Peter Evans (@peterevans10) May 28, 2015
“So you’re happy putting your name to this piece of racist garbage?” one Twitter user asked.
@hanrobs So you're happy putting your name to this piece of racist garbage?
— Teacher Dude (@teacherdude) May 28, 2015
@hanrobs the contents of this 'article' is just as bad as the headline..
— Ross (@rmcqj) May 28, 2015
@hanrobs I suppose you don't write captions either "Holidaymakers have complained some migrants sit outside restaurants watching them eat"
— david gill (@shot2bits) May 28, 2015
.@hanrobs Article is just as bad as headline. Words like "straggly" "grubby-looking" "filthy" used to describe refugees fleeing across seas
— Platform (@PlatformLondon) May 28, 2015
— PeterMurtagh (@PeterMurtagh) May 28, 2015
“Any how many of the great unwashed did you interview for your balanced report?” said another.
“Strange that you didn’t quote any of the refugees or Greeks helping them. Didn’t mention the constant abuse they receive either,” a Twitter user said.
The report featured a British couple who had visited the island for many years and were “disgusted” by the amount of refugees in the area.
The reporter interviewed other holiday makers who shared negative views of the refugees.
When introducing a quote from a British couple, the article read: “Calling it ‘disgusting’, Anne fumed: ‘We have been coming here for almost 10 years. We like to eat, drink and relax. But this time the atmosphere has changed.”
“‘It’s really dirty and messy here now. And it’s awkward. I’m not going to sit in a restaurant with people watching you.”
“We won’t be coming back if it’s like a refugee camp again next year.’”