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#1 2012-11-21 16:37:44


Squared Reporter

While all journalists make mistakes, and it is embarrassing to do so, it is prudent that editors check the copy and work of their journalists. That is a crucial role of the editor or editorial team and we have seen recently from the BBC what can happen when it fails.

This also happens at the local level. The Ledbury Reporter's startling cover story concerning the corporate giant Heineken offering £20 for interested people to attend a meeting to discuss “community issues “and develop a series of community-led projects, developed in part, from Ledbury’s Town Plan”” is a case in point.

[The Reporter has issued a correction on its website, and should also do so in its newspaper on Friday.]

One could imagine the undignified scramble to get their hands on that 20 quid. Why didn’t I take this approach with the Ledbury Portal to get local people interested in the community project of citizen journalism? Ah, £1400 that’s why not.

What the Ledbury Reporter fails to mention is that those attending will be encouraged to donate their 20 quids to charity.

But, of course, this story is inaccurate as Heineken’s Your Square Mile partner is not asking people to invite themselves – people have already been picked out and invited. Job done.

In P.R. terms that’s not a great start to this venture for corporate Heineken and its partner.

The biggest surprise for me was not that the Ledbury Reporter got its story wrong, nor that it is yet again engaging with a corporate giant on its front page, but that it is giving the oxygen of publicity to a partnership that could ultimately prove to be detrimental to the business model of the Ledbury Reporter itself.

News indeed!

I’ve a feeling that the Ledbury Reporter will, in time, come to regret this story even more than it does now.

The American owned, Worcester based, Malvern centric Ledbury Reporter is, after all, in business first and foremost to make money, not to provide a community service offering relevant local information to Ledbury people.


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