The Journo, the Cllr & the Police Caution

For all the political posturing within Lambeth ahead of the local elections, sometimes a story comes along that puts all the micro level real politik jostling into perspective.

The South London Press chief journalist responsible for covering the Lambeth patch has been arrested in connection with a common assault of a Lambeth Council cabinet member. Greg Truscott admitted the assault and received a police caution.

A mere caution for this level of offence seems incredibly lenient. Witness statements supporting the attack made this difficult for the solicitor representing Truscott to advise anything other than a confession. With no previous convictions, a caution was as far as the police could take the case.

There is no mention of any internal disciplinary punishment for an offence that is clearly a conflict of work interest. @SthLondonPress has finally caught up with the modern interweb and has created a twitter account. The conversation is all one way – requests for clarification have been ignored.

The implication for @SthLondonPress is one of absolute accountability. As we approach the local elections, any credibility on reporting @lambeth_council matters has now completely disappeared.

At least the local paper will have some form of excuse for its policy of not sending its chief Lambeth reporter to local council meetings. The paper fails its readership, the politicians get an easy ride and the local electorate loses out on any objective reporting.

Meanwhile, @streathamnews has picked up on the policy of the flagship local paper being funded by carrying ads for prostitutes. Tit for tat journalism benefits no one. The solution is for @SthLondonPress to finally come clean and stop being funded by the exploitation of women.

It would be one less stick for its opponents to beat the paper with and @streathamnews could go back to reporting proper political stories. It would also remove the justification by @lambeth_council for publishing Lambeth Life as the only means of printing statutory ads in a borough wide paper that is not funded by prostitution.

Common assaults and two pages of ‘adult service’ ads twice a week – why does Sir Ray Tindle still believe that he is publishing a family newspaper?

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