#StopFundingHate – the end of hate news?

Lucy Hayball, LucyEmily.co.uk, 2017

Whether we like to admit it or not, the media is so important in society. Without it, how would we know about recent events?  How would we get our information? How would people be held to account?

You have probably seen the #StopFundingHate campaign floating around for a while now, The Body Shop has recently come on board. But what exactly is it and what is it all about?

The media is meant to serve us. But some people believe that certain media outlets encourage hate rather than news and need to be stopped.

#StopFundingHate is a passion to create a change in the media. A change which aims to stop The Sun, The Daily Mail and The Express from publishing hate and offensive articles. Brands spend a huge amount of money on Christmas advertising in newspapers (print and online) and #StopFundingHate are wanting this money to be spent elsewhere. During the rest of the year, these papers produce very different messages. Messages which can offend and encourage hate. The money from advertising is allowing these papers to run and play on hate and prejudice.

The campaign wants to see massive brands take a stand and put their money into better, more moral companies. The companies that advertise in these papers stand for ethics but these papers are argued to not be ethical. Companies are being encouraged to use other outlets who can spread positive messages all year around, not hate. Bring back free speech whilst finding a way to make the hate less profitable.

It is a huge change to make.  There is nothing to say that this cannot happen, but who is powerful enough to take on this change? Which brands will step up and support this campaign? Will there be enough support to see this campaign through?

It is a really sensitive subject though. Some people are really against it. Some people believe that this is a way to make the rich try to stop newspapers from saying what they think. Effectively stopping free speech. It is one of those campaigns which people will be divided over. I thought that it had died down but with The Body Shop joining forces recently and Lego a few months ago, who will be next? Or will nobody be next because brands are too scared of the consequences to step up?

Or is it just too big of a change to be made?

I think that it is really interesting to think about the media and its role today. Sensationalist, controversial stories are what grabs attention. Just think of the Daily Mail. Is the fact that Kylie Jenner had a stain on her top really that important? No, probably not but you are likely to have clicked on it. Some celebrities left the Brit Awards drunk last night and it is near the top of DailyMailonline this morning. Is this news? Again, not really. But people read them.

Like I have previously said, these outlets are huge. It is going to take big brands and some bold moves for this to make a big change. The Body Shop came on board with this campaign and I was not shocked to see this. It fits in with their current branding and who they are.

So what is next for this campaign?

Who knows. All we know is that the media is a powerful entity and targeting three of the biggest newspapers is going to be tricky. But with huge brands behind them, who knows what they can achieve. Maybe hate within these papers can be stopped.

But even if hate is stopped will that encourage positive news? If this campaign is successful, surely it proves that newspapers can be held to account? And if they are held to account once, how will news be affected in the future? Only time will tell.


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