i3t – Headline Analysis 02 – Wednesday 24th May 2017

Understandably today’s newspapers are all featuring coverage of the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena on Monday night. From there we’ve outrage, anger, and more than a dollop of sensationalism going on across the various papers so we’ll briefly point out the inaccuracies. In times like these they help absolutely no one and they just stir up more panic and hatred.

The biggest factual inaccuracy across the papers, reported on the front pages of The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail and inside various others, in that there are to be 5,000 troops ordered to protect locations identified at risk around the UK. It is true that this has been ordered but the scale the papers say isn’t accurate. According to the home office a more realistic number of troops being deployed is going to be 300 to 500. So the papers were wrong potentially by a factor of 15.

Now, if I may, I’d like to say the papers should be featuring something else on their front pages. They should be covering all the stories coming out of Manchester that showcase the best in humanity. A homeless guy called Chris Parker ran in immediately to help and cradled two of the dying so they didn’t die alone. A GoFundMe campaign set up, link here https://www.gofundme.com/3dgkuj-help-chris-parker which features the full story, had initially set out to raise him £1,000 to help the guy out. He’s a hero. That figure is now nearly £30,000 raised and that is an amazing story of generosity.

Then there was the taxi drivers of Manchester, many of which were Muslims, who worked for free all night to make sure that those affected by the suicide bomber got home safely. Some taxi drivers came from as far away as Liverpool and Sheffield to make sure people from those cities got home safely and none of them charged a penny. It’s humanity at it’s best.

There are the hotels, most notable the Holiday Inn in Manchester, that took in those stranded and provided them with a safe place for the night. It was another example of humanity at it’s finest. People wanting to help anyway they can.

Many local businesses, such as coffee shops, newsagents, off licences, and take aways, provided food and drink to those affected and to the emergency services again all for free. It was the best of humanity reacting to the acts of one man who was the very worst of humanity.

These are the stories that should be shouted out from the front pages. We must pay tribute to those who died, it was tragic and senseless, but we should also celebrate those who proved that you’ll never break our spirit. Our soul. If we are judged by how we reacted in this, the worst of situations, then as a city Manchester must be one of the best on the planet.

The people of Manchester are strong, resilient, and truly are some of the best around.