M Garapich to J Slack

Back in the hastily titled 'Paint a picture of immigration by the numbers with the Daily Mail' and 'More on painting by the numbers', I covered how the Mail article ''Immigrants here for good': Half of Poles plan to stay in UK' was as misleading as we'd expect a mail article about immigration to be, and how one of the authors of the study it pretended to be covering wasn't very happy about how his work had been misrepresented. Mr Garapich has been kind enough to forward me a copy of his letter to the hack involved (the infamous James Slack) to reproduce here, which I am doing because I love it.


On October the 18th The Daily Mail published your piece entitled: 'Immigrants here for good. Half of Poles plan to stay in UK’. The piece mentions my survey undertaken in September 2007 among Polish nationals living in the United Kingdom.

Unfortunately, your piece is a mixture of ignorance, misinterpretation and speculation. I couldn’t care less about your intellectual capacity to absorb the data, but you have included my name in an article that conveys a false impression of what the study was about.

Firstly, the survey had nothing to do with the numbers of Polish nationals in the UK. The aim of the study was to determine their media preferences and willingness to vote in coming elections in Poland. Let me list sentence by sentence the instances of misleading parts in your piece:

Your first sentence is misleading since there is not a word in my research about a ‘million’ or that ‘half of them are about to stay in the UK’.

In the second sentence there is another false statement since our sample included people who have arrived in the UK since1989, not since 2004 as your piece suggests.

The third sentence is pure fiction. There is not a word in the study about further 30% that “think about staying for the rest of their lives”. I don’t know where you got that from.

The fifth sentence is nonsense. My study does not suggest that “migrants will continue to place enormous pressure on schools etc”.

The sentence: ‘The Mig Research study, presented in Warsaw and carried out by Michal Garapich of Krakow University, Poland, and Dorota Osipovic of University College, London, suggests the number of migrants staying permanently will be higher than previous estimates’ is also highly misleading. There is nothing in my survey that suggests so.

I leave aside further your handling of the Home Office data of which you seem to know very little. Plainly speaking: you simply do not have the slightest idea what are you talking about.

The problem is that your piece demonstrated not only very poor journalism but also low levels of civic and social responsibility. With issues around migration so complex and politically charged, you ought to do a little more research. As there exist no English version of the report, only Polish, I suspect you used the services of an interpreter. This interpreter however either had a poor command of English or didn’t understand what the study was about. In any case you showed yourself to be a lazy journalist. It takes 5 seconds to find my name on the web with my telephone number, which could save you some embarrassment.

Please be aware that I am forwarding this email to your editor. I expect in the meantime that you will contact me and that I will be offered an apology.

Lovely. I have asked Mr Garapich to let me know if he receives his apology. I'll let you know when I do.

1 comment:

eric the fish said...

excellent as ever. Thanks also to Mr. Garapich for sharing his brilliant letter.