Mail slams BBC Songs of Praise for filming Calais priest… then publishes his picture

In its hurry to bash the Beeb the Daily Mail has put its interviewee in danger


The Daily Mail reports that a priest in the Calais migrant camp fears for his safety after the BBC’s Songs of Praise filmed at his makeshift church.

Hagos Kesete, 31, worries his family could be targeted by the Eritrean government if they see him on television.

As the Mail puts it:

“Mr Kesete said his decision to pull out of the broadcast is due to fears that his relatives could face repercussions if the images are seen in his home country of Eritrea.”

Nevertheless, while noting the hazard to its interviewee, the Daily Mail saw fit to publish his photograph to illustrate the story.

Mr Kesete’s picture features both in print today and on the MailOnline website – the most visited English language newspaper site in the world.

Good thing we have the Mail to protect us from the BBC’s irresponsible journalism!

Note: The story was published a little earlier by the Telegraph, who also included a photo of Mr Kesete. Luckily, fewer people read the Telegraph website.


The Mail story is squished below others which take a less compassionate approach to the ongoing ‘crisis’. The full-page story opposite gleefully reporduces foreign secretary Philip Hammond’s remarks about ‘marauding migrants’ from Africa.

Indeed, given the context, it’s almost as if the priest story was picked up by the Mail not out of concern for Mr Kesete’s safety, but as a way to bash the BBC…

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

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Read more: 

Daily Mail claims ‘7 in 10 Calais migrants get into UK’ – without any evidence

Mail on Sunday’s shady ‘Calais migrants in hotels’ story is willfully misleading

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8 Responses to “Mail slams BBC Songs of Praise for filming Calais priest… then publishes his picture”

  1. Selohesra

    And now LFF publishes link to the story allowing it to be seen by its millions of readers who are not normally Mail readers thus increasing the risk to this guy even further

  2. damon

    I can’t say I have much sympathy.
    He’s in France and if he wants asylum he should seek it there.
    Then if he is granted that, he can come over to England in the normal way.
    Like I did on Friday btw. I came through the tunnel, having had a quick drive around the dreary Calais first. I saw the migrant camp from the dual carriageway that goes past it, and saw a few migrants walking along the hard shoulders of the roads that ring the town.
    They are turning the place into a giant kind of open prison with long stretches of razor wire topped fences everywhere.
    They should all be taken into custody there in France and separated out.
    Genuine asylum seekers should be given some kind of shelter.
    What that should be exactly is up for debate.
    That everyone is given permanent leave t remain can only encourage even more to start out on the same journey.

  3. beak

    “They are turning the place into a giant kind of open prison with long stretches of razor wire topped fences everywhere” – not sure it’s the migrants that are doing that, pal

  4. Cole

    How about a shred of sympathy for the poor people fleeing from the crazy Eritrean dictatorship? I guess that’s too much too ask.

  5. damon

    You can’t have crowds of people ”marauding” across motorways and dual carriageways.
    Why won’t they just follow the rules and make their asylum claims in France?

  6. damon

    They’re not in Eritrea anymore, they’re in France. Now it’s just criminal behaviour because they can’t go where they want to. What’s wrong with putting them into protective detention in France?
    With the amount of law breaking they have committed so far to get there, it’s pretty obvious that they will continue in that way if they get to England. Lying about how they got there, where they’re from, their ages etc. Of the seventeen Vietnamese arrested from the back of a lorry on the M1 the other day, fifteen of them claimed to be children or minors, knowing that they then HAVE to be taken into care etc. Maybe they all were under the age of 18 or whatever, but there’s a good chance that they just know the system also, and are playing it. I’ve been to Vietnam and it is a fine and peaceful country.
    It might not have great individual freedom etc, but we can’t be taking in everyone who lives in a country that doesn’t have western style freedom.
    We can’t even take in all Eritreans. (”We” as in Europe I mean).

  7. Matthew Blott

    What a silly comment. LFF is a relatively minor website commenting on the world’s most popular news site.

  8. JohnSmith

    Well done the Mail for putting the interests of British people first.

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