You may have missed my online spat last night about yet another example of shoddy journalism about Down’s syndrome.
The article from the Daily Mail showed a horrid situation in Indonesia where those with learning difficulties or mental health problems were shackled to the floor in the most inhumane conditions you can imagine. The story was so terribly sad, that it couldn’t help but evoke the utmost sympathies and anger too.
So what made me angry with the journalist?
The fact that the journalist asserted that most of the people within the photos shown had Down’s syndrome – it was clear that they didn’t. In addition she used the most horrid terms – not a shred of research had been undertaken by her…not to mention that she stated that people suffer from Down’s syndrome. What these people were actually suffering from was an utter lack of care and love from their own society, a society that should protect the most vulnerable and not shackle them physically.
I (and many others) tweeted the journalist responsible for this terrible article. Her response? She blocked me and everyone else. So that’s how we learn is it? We close our doors and minds? We don’t listen to another viewpoint. We don’t realise that actually what we wrote was hugely offensive, wrong and has served only to stigmatise further those who have Down’s syndrome.
If you write you have a responsibility to be accurate and truthful. You have a duty of care. You have standards to abide by and IF someone points out that you could possibly be wrong you should listen!
I’ve made a formal complaint to IPSO. I know others will too.
Why do I bother? Why am I writing this?
Perhaps I want this world to be an easier place for my daughters and their friends. Perhaps I want to educate and inform rather than make sweepingly inaccurate, unhelpful and on the verge of defamatory statements.
I sent the journalist this film of Evie. I doubt she watched it. I wish she would have, she might have just learnt something. Feel free to share.