Ideological Churnalism

A few days ago, anti-immigration right-wing pressure group “think tank” Migration Watch UK put out a report that basically suggested that increasing rates of Eastern European immigrants from the A8 countries are to blame for UK youth unemployment. Mainly this just amounted to conjecture, and then a graph, with little to no real analysis of the relation between causation and correlation and any other factors that may have influenced the results. Any analysis seemed to boil down to little more than “they MUST be stealing jobs!”

In fact looking at the stats, there is a much larger correlation between youth unemployment and the onset of the global economic crisis than the induction of the A8 into the Eurozone in 2004.

Fancy that.

Note that even after 2004, youth unemployment only really starts to take off in 2008: the whole MW report is based on the assumption that youth unemployment has mainly A8 immigration to blame, when the figures seem to show that this simply isn’t the case. Even the graph in the report doesn’t really show this as well as they probably think it does (look at how the two lines don’t exactly rise relative to one another).

Of course, this hasn’t stopped the usual media suspects from doing their usual take on this kind of thing.

The Mail has gone with “A coincidence? Youth Unemployment Rises 450,000 in the time it takes 600,000 migrant workers to flock to the UK“, while the Express has settled on “East European Surge Blamed for 1m Young Britains being on Dole” (both safe links). Both articles are barely distinct from one another, taking the MW report and presenting it as unequivocal fact. Just mindless repetition, 45% copypasted from the original source (according to churnalism.com).

The whole thing is yet another example of how small, ideology driven astroturf pressure groups like Migration Watch and the Tax Payer’s Alliance are propogated and given undue influence by tabloids who unquestioningly print whatever report or press release they’ve concocted, solely because it fits in nicely with their editorial positions. It’s another example of how the so-called news media these days often seems to be more about ideology than truth.

For the record, I’m not outright dismissing out of hand that A8 migration could’ve maybe had some effect on UK youth unemployment, but presenting it in this way is dishonest at best and damaging at worst.

But then, they just don’t care do they?

-Cpoffley

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One thought on “Ideological Churnalism

  1. Aye, it’s incredible how they’ll twist the data to fit their agenda, no matter how tenuous the link.

    I notice these ‘think-tanks’ never mention something as basic as outsourcing of jobs and deindustrialisation, yet these could well account for the rise in youth unemployment – especially when combined with the global financial crisis.

Ejaculate some mind-spunk

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