Newspapers in the UK «treat Muslims differently», a British press watchdog said

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Newspapers in the UK treat Muslims differently, a press watchdog told the Financial Times. «I speak for myself, but I have the impression that [Muslims] are from time to time written about in a way that [newspapers] would simply not write about Jews or Roman Catholics», Alan Moses, chairman of the UK Independent Press Standards Organization (IPSO), said.

His statement comes two months before IPSO's plan to publish tips for journalists when writing about Muslims, who make up around 5% of Britain's population, according to 2017 data from the Bureau of national statistics.

The body had previously provided journalists with similar pieces of advice when writing stories about transsexual people and victims of sex crimes.

The move follows a hearing by the Special Committee on Home Affairs last year on Islamophobia and the British print media in which IPSO was criticized for not doing enough to fight against fake news.

«A shock-jock Muslim story on the front page sells papers», the former Conservative party chair Sayeeda Warsi told the committee at the time. «Some of the headlines we see now could have been written about the Jewish community in the 1930s and indeed were», she added.

The IPSO was founded in 2014. It regulates more than 1,000 British newspapers and can compel members who violate the publishing code to publish a corrigendum or to pay a fine. Alan Moses, who became its first president in 2014, said IPSO was facing «constant» demands to make its drafters' code tougher on discrimination.

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