University Challenge winners announce boycott of Daily Mail
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This year’s University Challenge champions have entered a war of words with the Daily Mail, accusing the newspaper of being a "fascist rag" and publically announcing their boycott of the tabloid. Between their semi-final match and Monday's final, which saw Balliol College Oxford defeat Wolfson College Cambridge, members of Balliol's team were contacted via Twitter by a Daily Mail journalist, who appealed for their personal contact information. When history student Freddy Potts was contacted, he replied to the journalist saying that “although I have nothing against you personally, but equally I have nothing to say to the fascist rag which employs you”. Potts has made his Twitter account private in the last few days. The same journalist also reached out to D-Phil student Benjamin Pope, who also responded on Twitter explaining that the team had talked to one another and decided to ‘ethically boycott’ the Mail.
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On the day of the final, the Daily Mail published an article drawing to light the all-male teams that made up the programme, leading to an online outcry by Balliol College captain Joey Goldman who referred to the paper as 'the Daily Heil'.
@zoe_samuel Miffed it wasn't reciprocated, but sympathy for anyone working in such an awful environment in such an awful industry.— Benjamin Pope (@fringetracker) April 11, 2017
— Mouse Aesthetic (@JoeySwearwords) April 10, 2017The Balliol team have, however, enjoyed some media coverage since they were awarded the winner's trophy by Stephen Hawking, appearing on BBC Radio Oxford and engaging in some friendly Twitter banter with a Guardian journalist.
@Nicola_Slawson Thanks! Mostly joking! Needless to say Guardian much preferred to you-know-what— Benjamin Pope (@fringetracker) April 11, 2017