Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Honesty isn't always the best policy

Sometimes being right is not enough.
When you work for the nationals you can afford to roll in and spend a couple of days upsetting the citizenry because in 48 hours you know you will be somewhere else annoying the great and good on another story.
Make a complaint to a national and you may as well be talking to a deaf lamp post.
Your regional newspaper however has a much harder task when it comes to running those edgier stories and keeping the peace.
I use to think print and be damned. But after a while getting damned can grow a little tiresome.
How many times have you printed a story that is 100 per cent true and been innundated with complaints?
Or defend a splash you know is right because of a concerted campaign from the vocal minority.
Or apologised as a public relations exercise rather than a moral judgement.
When you are the local paper sometimes you can go too far and you have to admit when you are wrong. The old adage don't shit on your doorstep also rings true.
But even when you are right you can be horribly wrong.
I prefer my saying 'Report everything and let the subs sort it out'.


  1. The policy of one editor I know when it comes to involved, time consuming and potentially ultra-controversial tip offs is to pitch the details to the nationals rather than following up ourselves.

    For me, it was as damning an indictment of the state of regional media as I've ever heard.

  2. Who are these subs yo speak of? Endangered species, I fear - and it shows.

  3. Proves yo (sic) need subs

  4. It's a familiar scenario to me. I can think of several occasions where the local daily I used to work on had the proverbial shit kicked out of it for running an accurate story, even when the subs (of which I was one) had been cautious.

    A lot of the time, the stories were about the antics of some scrotebag criminal who'd been busted, and the people getting narked by it were all their mates. Guess that's just the way it goes...