Monday, June 11, 2018
A woman in her late twenties; smart, fairly articulate and seemingly rational, told a reporter she had bought a carton of fast food and found a mouse in it. Not a live one. One that was dead and presumably just a little cooked. I say, presumably, because she no longer had it. She’d been advised to return it to the caterer’s head office for closer inspection and had brought this to light for all the right reasons; not for compensation, but to public-spiritedly warn others. The reporter was not massively experienced but had all the right details in the right order: where the woman bought it, who served her, how she had opened the carton and “almost fainted” when she saw what was in there, returned to the counter, how the sales staff had “reeled in horror” at the sight and how their line manager had followed procedures by instantly sealing it in true forensic fashion and sending it off.
Thursday, June 07, 2018
It’s not often a magazine celebrates having to make a correction, especially when announcing something as important as a death. But Cornwall Today did just that last month, reporting its own demise on the announcement that Trinity Mirror was due to close the county-wide title after 20 years.
Monday, June 04, 2018
The troll abuse meted out to court reporter Stephanie Finnegan for daring to actually do her job and break the story of English Defence League founder’s imprisonment is beyond beyond ludicrous. Finnegan received threats and her colleagues at Leeds Live faced abuse after they and The Independent successfully challenged reporting restrictions in the case against Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon). The judge had originally intended to defer reporting until after the verdict until persuaded to change his mind. His verdict appears on the face of it to have been the right one. But, for me, two disturbing aspects emerged. Firstly, the hypocrisy behind the backlash – Robinson got 13 months for, of all things, contempt for live-streaming details of a trial which was itself subject to a blanket reporting restriction. And even worse was the fact that his supporters actually felt they had a cause for such indignation. If the regional media still had the resources to fill the press benches every day, instead of having to cherry-pick the few cases they can afford, open justice would never be seen as such an audacity in the first place.