UPDATE: 09.01.2020

The Daily Mail article and headline, before it was taken down after a request by Shout Out UK.
The Daily Mail article and headline, before it was taken down after a request by Shout Out UK.

After filing a complaint to IPSO, the Daily Mail got in contact and, after much deliberation and discussion, has agreed to remove the offending article. The URL now redirects all potential readers of the article to the Daily Mail’s home page.

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Some background facts

On Sunday 8th December 2019, we were contacted by a journalist from the Daily Mail about a video and track we worked on with Drillminister. We are a youth network that runs Political and Media Literacy programmes in schools.

Here is the video.

The video was part of a project called ‘No Vote, No Voice’, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust for £9,000 for our project.

A further £7,500 was given to Rize Up for a similar – but separate, and that’s an important point – project, that we had nothing to do with.

Many people are still not voting. Young people, in particular.

Depleting trust of politics and towards politicians, combined with a feeling that involvement in politics is ineffective are at the heart of this fact.

We partnered with Drillminister – who famously used drill music to highlight hypocrisy in the language used by politicians in 2018.

His use of drill music, we thought, would be an amazing way of engaging more young people in politics with the aim of getting them to register to vote and of course vote in the 12th Dec election.

For anyone that watched the video, it has a clear message. Politics impacts everything we do and, as Drillminister says in the track, ‘the democratic vote is golden’, so we must use it. However, in the UK, to use it you need to first ensure you are registered to vote.

Drillminister goes on to say in the track:

‘We’ve been a blue country for the last decade. Conservatives won in O’10. If ya wanna see change, or more of the same, pick a box and use that pen’.

We strive to be apolitical and non-partisan. Neither Shout Out UK or Drillminister intend to influence who people vote for. We simply wanted to create something to encourage voting registration and picking a box and using that pen!

What came next

  1.     The Daily Mail email suggested that Drillminister at ‘1 min 30 seconds of the video is stabbing a politician’.

In reality, it clearly shows Drillminister marking a ballot paper with an oversized pencil. It ignores that the only ‘violent’ act is the man in a suit pushing him away – and you must question why they’d choose to frame it as a stabbing.

The ‘pushing away’ was done in reference to the fact that in the UK Political Literacy primarily exists in top-end schools. If you want everyone to have a say in democracy equally, we must ensure everyone has an understanding of how the system works. Not just a select few.

Drillminister attempting to cast his vote with an oversized pencil before the suited man pushes him away.
Drillminister attempting to cast his vote with an oversized pencil before the suited man pushes him away.
  1.     The Daily Mail suggests that at 2 mins 50 seconds Drillminister mimics firing a gun while the lyrics talk about Boris Johnson, with the lyrics ‘if I shoot, no miss’.

At that time, Drillminister is doing a dance move known in the drill ‘scene’, to lyrics rapped by another rapper on the track, SOS.

The line is actually ‘ask Drilly – if I shoot, no miss’ which is in reference to another line by SOS at 2 mins 27 seconds where SOS mentions how he shot clay pigeons at 6 years old.

  1.     The Daily Mail claim £16,500 was funded for and spent on our project with Drillminister. This is untrue, it was £9,000.
  2.     The Daily Mail claim the project was made by two organisations – Rize Up and Shout Out UK. This is untrue, Rize Up was not involved, and their funding for a wholly separate project not involving Drillminister.

It is vital to ensure the next generation grows up with the tools necessary to engage with and understand the system they live under and how to critically analyse the media which they consume.

In order to write their article, the two Daily Mail journalists involved must ignore the facts and editorialise. The public have a greater understanding today, more than ever before, that journalists are accountable for the traffic and social media shares their articles generate. We will continue to educate young people about the way media impacts politics and vice versa.

Political literacy and media literacy are key to ensure citizens are capable of making informed decisions and don’t get caught up in misinformation, that’s becoming the norm in today’s society.

Finally, don’t forget to vote on the 12th Dec – use that pen!

Note: We have asked the Daily Mail to correct their mistakes, but as of 12.41pm 09/12/2019 have refused to do so.