Four out of five people believe that media coverage of ethnic minority Britons promotes racism.
A poll found that 78 per cent of respondents of all ethnic backgrounds believe that media portrayal of minorities encourages discrimination. Among people of Pakistani descent the figure rises to 94%.
Even among white respondents there was deep concern about the impact of media coverage of ethnic minorities, with 76% saying it was fuelling racism. White people had the same level of concern as Black Caribbeans and more than Indians (68%) and Black Africans (67%).
The findings coincide with intense media coverage of the arrival in Britain of new immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria following the lifting of working restrictions on 1 January. Among Eastern Europeans responding to the poll, 89% thought media reporting was contributing to racism, the highest number after Pakistanis.
The findings, in a poll for the Runnymede Trust given to The Independent, prompted calls for media regulators to be more vigilant in addressing coverage of combustible subjects such as immigration and race.
On Monday night the controversial Channel 4 series Benefits Street, which has led to hundreds of complaints to the broadcaster and the media watchdog Ofcom, will switch its focus to the presence of Eastern European immigrants on James Turner Street in Birmingham, where 90% of residents are said to be claiming social subsidies.
Yes, the UK has media regulators now. Hey, and since when are Eastern Europeans a separate race?
Trailer for Benefits Street
Benefits Street has provoked fury amongst leftists. There are some descriptions from the show at the Independent link. Sample reaction (more at Guido Fawkes):