An EU official has hit out at the Sun and Daily Mail for their coverage of Brexit.
V?ra Jourová, a Czech politician and European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, criticised the two newspapers for creating ‘division’ rather than ‘building dialogue.’
Jourová referenced the two newspapers, alongside examples of ‘growing anti-Muslim and anti-Roma rhetoric’ in Europe, to call for a more responsible approach from the media.
She explained that ‘almost daily’ there are ‘examples of stories that are spiced up to identify an enemy, that paint a picture black and white.’
The Sun’s front page illustrated Macron and EU council chief Donald Tusk mocked up as gangsters holding tommy guns. The image was accompanied by the headline ‘EU Dirty Rats.’
The editorial that was ran underneath said: ‘We can’t wait to shake ourselves free from the the two-bit mobsters who run the European Union.’
The commissioner also referenced the Daily Mail’s front cover from November 2016 in which it branded three judges ‘Enemies of the People’ for their judgement about the UK constitution.
She explained: ‘Media can build the culture of dialogue or sow divisions, spread disinformation and encourage exclusion,’ adding that they must ‘realise that their words become justification for some people to act on their urges and their fears.’
She added: ‘The traditional media are under enormous pressure from the digital world, they lose readership and advertising revenue, they have to cut staff which means less fact-checking, less quality reporting. And I would advocate a European approach to media based on quality and smart regulation, if needed.’
A spokesperson for Jourova denied her comments were about stifling freedom of speech.