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People Are Comparing Newspapers' Treatment Of A Drowned Syrian Boy To Their Usual Immigration Coverage

The UK's broadly conservative and anti-immigration press today highlighted the story of a drowned 3-year-old Syrian boy who was trying to reach Europe with his family. WARNING: This post contains distressing images.

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Most British newspapers made the picture of 3-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi's dead body front page news on Thursday morning.

If you missed #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers last night - almost all UK newspapers lead on the death of Aylan

But it didn't take long for people to start comparing those front pages to papers' strident anti-immigration coverage in recent weeks.

Six days apart. Go fuck yourself @DailyMailUK

Never not astounded by the unashamed hypocrisy of the Daily Mail

Some pointed out that UK media normally covers immigration and asylum from the point of view of Western citizens and tourists.

Only last month the Mail were criticising refugees for ruining the holidays of British tourists..

This juxtaposition of newspapers covering the human tragedy and the "tide" of people travelling to Europe – in this same edition – jarred for some.

It was argued that newpapers' coverage even yesterday was different in tone from today.

Thurs: SOLVE THIS TRAGEDY (Weds: but not by bringing them to Britain). Typical Sun hypocrisy.

People used social media to contrast The Sun's front page today with a highly controversial article from columnist Katie Hopkins in April that said migrants "are like cockroaches".

Just your daily reminder that a few months ago The Sun suggested we send gun boats to murder those refugees...

The article said: "NO, I don't care. Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad. I still don't care."

Hopkins was interviewed by police under caution, over allegations that the column was an incitement to racial hatred, but she was not arrested or charged.

Yesterday JK Rowling contrasted how the Daily Express covered the story of a homeless dog with its treatment of asylum-seekers and migrants.

Want the Daily Express to care that you're trying to find a safe home? Be a dog.

Meanwhile, the images of dead children washed up on the shore appear to have helped shift the political stance of some papers.

On the migrant crisis, The Sun Says: It's life & death

Normally staunchly anti-immigration, The Sun used its leader column to call on the UK to take in genuine asylum seekers "if it is beyond doubt that they have fled for their lives".

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Smith at

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