Challenge to Guardian's report on Tottenham riots

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 11, 2011

The Guardian newspaper amended its coverage of the Tottenham riots after a complaint that Chasidic Jews were unfairly singled out for allegedly "jeering at police".

Manchester's Jewish Representative Council were among those complaining that the newspaper had broken its editorial code in unnecessarily identifying people's religious or ethnic background in a description of a mixed crowd of onlookers to Saturday night's violence. The article was published online on Sunday and in the Guardian on Monday.

The newspaper noted that rioters were "racially mixed" but said "families and other local residents, including some from Tottenham's Hasidic Jewish community, also gathered to watch and jeer at police".

Lucille Cohen, president of the Rep Council, voiced concern that "such irresponsible reporting could lead to increased antisemitism and even to physical attacks on the Jewish community nationally".

A spokesperson for the Guardian said the article was being considered by the paper's independent readers' editor.

On Wednesday the paragraph was rewritten to read: "But families and other local residents representative of the area - black, Asian and white, including some from Tottenham's Hasidic Jewish community - also gathered to watch and jeer at police."

Last updated: 12:03pm, August 11 2011