IN a week where the press has taken yet another bashing, I can be proud of the role my staff have played in portraying all is right about local British journalism.
The unacceptable side of the profession reared its ugly head again when French magazine Closer printed photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing topless.
Although not published in England, where the national newspaper industry is still reeling from the blows of the Leveson inquiry, they were quickly seen worldwide and ruled by a judge to be a “brutal display” of her private life.
But sometimes newspapers can publish personal and previously private details and still be doing a valuable service – and that is exactly what we did over the weekend.
Indeed, Lincolnshire Police have publicly thanked us and other local media for our help in providing information that led to the arrest of a man in connection with the hit-and-run killing of 27-year-old supermarket worker Tim Osborn.
Tragic as the case is, it is a perfect example of how police and the local press can work together to pursue the course of justice.
We knew early on Saturday morning that Tim had been killed, but our original website story didn’t mention this. The police were hoping the driver might, thinking he had only injured someone, hand himself in the morning after – and we were happy to go along with this justifiable subterfuge.
Later in the day when we were given the go-ahead to announce the tragedy on our website, Tim’s family’s added personal comments about their son in their appeal for the driver to give himself up.
We incorporated these into an update, which was also relayed to thousands of Twitter and Facebook users. And on Sunday morning we added to the story further still, when police revealed details of the vehicle they were trying to trace.
Yes, we sell newspapers, gain website hits and attract new social media followers from such stories, but the joy in the newsroom when we heard an arrest had been made was nothing to do with circulation or hits, just pride that our efforts, in some way, may have helped justice on its way.