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Reporter praised for asylum seeker coverage

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The chief reporter of the Dover Mercury, Graham Tutthill, has been praised at a national conference for his coverage of the asylum seeker situation in the town.

Gurbux Singh, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality told journalists at a conference in London: “The row over asylum seekers, stoked up in April this year, caused real concerns of an escalation in violence andethnic tensions.”

He said Kent Police were so concerned about coverage of the asylum seekers issue in another local newspaper that they intervened and asked the paper’s former editor to moderate the language being used in articlesand headlines.

Mr Singh said: “In contrast, the Dover Mercury, part of the Kent Messenger Group, chose to report those same stories in a scrupulously fair and impartial way, taking a conscious decision to look at the issues in an objective, responsible manner.

“Graham Tutthill, the reporter on the Dover Mercury, deserves praise fordoing this, especially at a time when it would have been all too easy toslip into using the same sensationalist and inflammatory language as some ofour other papers – national and regional.

“Graham Tutthill and his editor, Graham Smith, deserve considerable praise for the stance they have taken.”

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