Saturday, 9 July 2011

All change in the local press

A couple of weeks after reporter Tara Brady moved from the Wembley and Willesden Observer to the rival Willesden and Brent Times, Kate Ferguson  of the WBT has moved to the Hampstead and Highgate Express (the Ham and High).

I am sorry to see Kate go as she has been a committed and resourceful reporter who went well beyond the re-writing of press releases that is becoming characteristic of so many cash-starved local papers. Tara Brady is well able to take up the baton.

Meanwhile things at the WWO are less clear.  There has long been a problem of the title not living up to its name with a preponderance of Harrow news, features and letters and this seems to have worsened recently - purchasers need more than a token Brent story on the front page.  The Harrow Observer series needs to strengthen its reporting of Brent issues as well as extending its features to cover the borough if it is to win credibility.

The Harrow Times dabbled in reporting Brent issues a while ago and seemed to be trying to increase the paper's range but again this has diminished recently. This week there is only one Brent story (the teachers' strike). There is no attempt to connect up issues common to the two boroughs such as academy schools,

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