Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Newham Recorder FORCED to Report BOTH Sides Of Story

The Newham Recorder has been forced to print a follow up story on the advert by London City Airport in last weeks newspaper.

Residents from across the boroughs complained to Editor Colin Grainger, and Chief Executive Angie Carwood that Colin had consistently put to print unbalanced reporting on the airport over the past year, all bar around 3 items out of double figure features. Colin Grainger has denied this accusation and residents have requested that he provide the evidence of balanced reporting: he has failed to do this in nearly 8 weeks of waiting and it looks unlikely that he will do so. Clearly he doesn't have the evidence to argue against residents accusations.

What the Newham Recorder article didn't inform residents of was that Colin Grainger, and the Chief Executive were advised that unless reporting was more balanced now and in the future (that means two sides of the story should always be presented in articles) that a complaint would be made to the Press Complaints Commission. In the media world it is standard good practice to present balanced articles.

Clearly the Editor felt that he was on unsteady footing if a complaint was sent in to the PCC, and decided to print the follow up you see on the Newham Recorders website today.

What is worth noting is that the only individuals who appear to defend the airport are paid officials and some businesses. Although the Newham Recorder likes to make out that there are just a handful of residents who object, the 1000 objection letters, and just under a thousand signatures and requests for public inquiries from: Bexley Council, MP John Austin, Cllr Alan Craig and various other individuals and businesses seems to be something that Newham, and the Newham Recorder have to be forced to report upon.

Oh dear.

As for Alec Kelleway and Robin Wales - they ignore that the airport has consistently breached section 106 conditions for 8 years to the detriment of local residents. This means that they clearly condone the breaking of planning law. Residents have approached them directly on these issues and Robin Wales was alledged to say ''you can't say no to big business''. They should both be throughly ashamed of themselves as both are indicative of a borough which claims to be democratic but clearly is not, and also selects who it applies the law to. You know what they say: power corrupts. Let's hope that residents make their unhappiness known at the next ballot box.

Residents are now keeping a close eye on the behaviour of LB Newham and the Newham Recorder. They will pursue issues through the correct procedures to make individuals accountable as and when they need to.