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Anorak | Grenfell: a failure of local journalism

Grenfell: a failure of local journalism

by | 26th, June 2017

Emily Bell points  to why no-one was listening when the residents of Grenfell were campaigning for improved safety. The horror as preventable. But no-one was listening. No-one was reporting things in a local newspaper the powerful didn’t want residents to know.

She hears Ishmahil Blagrove tells Sky News :

“This is not just a story this situation has been brewing for years You the media, you are the mouthpiece of this government and you make it possible.” Later Blagrove describes the mainstream media as “a bunch of motherfuckers” to a small crowd surrounding him who break into polite applause. Channel 4’s Jon Snow faced an angry group outside Grenfell the same day, asking him where the press was when the fire safety concerns were first raised.

…the evisceration of any sustainable professional journalism at the local level creates both an accountability vacuum and a distance between media and the communities it reports on.

As well as council-owned outlets, a plethora of glossy lifestyle and housing media mop up the advertising revenue not ingested by Facebook or Google. The local publication Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster Today – listed as the only free newspaper in the borough – has no local reporting at all.

Grant Feller has more , recalling his time as a reporter on and then editor of the local Kensington newspaper:

I had forgotten about those stories until this week. And I had forgotten about my first week on the Kensington News, when the then leader of the borough’s Labour group, Rima Horton –inspirational, quick-witted and not a little scary walked me round the area and conspiratorially said: ‘You can make a real difference here. A story in the local paper, getting their picture in somewhere,

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Posted: 26th, June 2017 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink