Sunday, January 11, 2009

London City Airport Threaten Newspaper For Factual Reporting

It is strange, for over a year team FTF have wondered why SOME local papers, particularly some of those which belong to ARCHANT, most particularly the Newham Recorder have a bit of a problem in reporting balanced articles on London City Airport. By behaving in this way, they have constructively denied the communities accurate, and informative information about the effect of London City Airport expanding.

The Newham Recorder have consistently printed biased reports, all bar around two reports which were printed after a rush of complaints to them threatening complaints to the PCC. The Newham Recorder is an embarrassment to the hard working reporters and media sector who take pride and have passion in their work and their ability to deliver facts to the community.

Integrity sadly appears almost absent in some locations. But bullying and intimidation seems to be the name of the day in aviation land.

It seems that the Public Relations Trainee at London City Airport reacts to negative stories in the press with threats, or that is what they did to the Wanstead and Woodford Guardian just a week ago according to the Editors comment in the most recent edition.

Is this how London City Airport normally stops negative, but factually accurate, stories from being printed? You have to wonder. The PR trainee gets on the phone and threatens that if they print the truth they will complain to the Press Complaints Commission? We can only question if this is the normal behaviour of the PR office at the airport, or was the trainee just having a bad day, now that Hill and Knowlton have decamped.

Perhaps we should all lead by example in response to the bullying PR tactics by complaining to the PCC if inaccurate and consistently biased reporting continues in certain newspapers. We won't be complaining about the TRUTH though as that is what we want. But we've plenty of examples for a strong complaint already - about 18 months worth.

At FTF we embrace the TRUTH - telling the truth is not morally wrong, despite what some quarters appear to think if their own behaviour is anything to go by. Truth seems cheap to some when it comes at the expense of making money! Providing inaccurate information and purposely suppressing the facts to your own advantage however is morally wrong.

The freedom of the press is a precious thing - as is integrity. The Wanstead and Woodford Guardian reporter Daniel Binns and his Editor have shown enormous commitment to the community in reporting the factual information which affects their communities, and which the residents have the right to know. London City Airport doesn't appear to want anyone to know about the 9 near misses in the skies above us. It also appears they want to stop the press from printing the TRUTH.

The Wanstead and Woodford Guardian received such support for the report, that upset LCA so much, that a whole page was dedicated to the supportive letters...oh sweet joy! Don't forget to read the Editors comments, as it is an absolute gem! You will find the pages linked here shortly.

Any reporter who would like to inform us, in strict confidence, of a similar experience is welcome to contact us with details.