COMMENT: Don’t forget morals either

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I GAVE a talk to some Year 11 students about law in the media a couple of weeks ago, and it reminded me we also have an important moral role to play.

Much has been reported from The Leveson Inquiry during the last few months about the disgusting behaviour of some of our “red top” national newspapers.

I told the students at Long Sutton’s Peele Community College that the Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press would never purposely libel or defame.... but it’s not just media lawbreaking that can cause harm.

Newspapers are not are only responsibility either – our website www.spaldingtoday.co.uk gets more than 250,000 hits every month.

Only yesterday I was accused of “stirring things” and “editing a letter” to make the author look bad.

I hadn’t. The letter writer, whose views about the lack of a police response to reports of a homeless person, was simply shocked at the negative reaction his comments garnered on our website. He asked me to close the thread. I didn’t.

The day before that the local chief inspector made a similar request and this time I agreed.

Not because he was a policeman, but because he was asking us to close comments on a story about a convicted paedophile living in a South Holland village.

He was concerned such a thread could reveal the exact address of the sex offender and perhaps lead to vigilante action.

So, while we won’t let people hide behind inflammatory remarks we will always do our best not to create fresh turmoil when reporting on the unsavoury side of life.

LET’S hope the weather forecasters are correct and this weekend’s Spalding Flower Parade is spared a soaking.

It’s many years since the town’s showpiece has been rained on and it would be a dreadful shame if all the hard work is blighted by wet weather putting off the crowds. So, even if it’s a little bit colder than the May norm, let’s wrap up, go out and have a great day.