YA author Melinda Salisbury has asked her publisher not to submit her books for review to newspapers such as the Daily Mail in support of the ‘Stop Funding Hate’ movement.
Stop Funding Hate urges companies to stop advertising in newspapers that they say promote fear and division. Lego recently announced its decision to stop all promotional campaigns with the Daily Mail because of the campaign.
In support of the group’s aims, Salisbury has asked her publisher Scholastic not to submit her books for review to the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Express, the Sunday Express and the Sun, which she says “fuel hatred”.
She told The Bookseller: “The Stop Funding Hate movement has really opened my eyes to all the tacit ways we endorse and support organisations without really thinking about what that means. I was incredibly impressed by Lego making the decision to withdraw its advertising from the Daily Mail, in light of some of the DM’s recent articles and headlines. I was even more impressed that instead of quietly ending the contract, it instead chose to be open about it and to make a public statement about its brand, and its beliefs.
"So, in addition to donating financially to causes and organisations that promote tolerance, inclusivity and acceptance, and speaking out when I see hate speech, I’m withdrawing my presence from places that don’t promote or support the fundamental beliefs I hold about the way we treat each other.”
She said Scholastic responded with “complete professionalism” to her request, adding: “I want to make it clear I’m not making assumptions about the individual reviewers’ thoughts and opinions but rather a response to an increased amount of front page reports and headlines that to my mind fuel hatred.”
Salisbury said she was aware that there is not enough media coverage for YA and children’s books and that the newspapers in question are some of the only ones that regularly print reviews, but added: “This is where I stand. I can’t lack the courage of my convictions – if it’s within my power, I have to do something.”
Her second YA novel, The Sleeping Prince, was published by Scholastic in February.