September 15, 2005


Letter to London Daily Telegraph

Sir: On Wednesday more than 150 people lost their lives and 542 were wounded in an unprecedented spate of 11 bombings in Iraq. I find it appalling that you found no place for this story on your front page the following morning. It was devoted almost entirely to Prince Harry's 21st birthday interview and two other minor reports about store cards and the raising of the retirement age.

Is this responsible journalism? I would have expected less callousness and insensitivity from the cheapest tabloids, but hardly from a newspaper of your pedigree and which has been my daily for 20 years.

Perhaps the answer is that you are circulation-led, and that people don't want to read headlines about carnage and human suffering so far away from their backyard. If so, your readers need to be reminded that this is very much a local-interest story. Wednesday's mass killers in Iraq are from the same brood as the London bombers of 7th July. And Iraq is a place where hundreds of our troops risk their lives daily in defence of the freedom and democracy we all cherish, but will stand to lose through such indifference.
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