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Newspapers’ riot coverage to form focus of debate

Coverage of the summer riots in British newspapers and other media is to the focus of a debate later this month.

Website The Latest.com has partnered with the Citizen Journalism Education Trust to hold the debate, which aims to bring together media practitioners and young people from the areas affected by the riots.

The conference will deal with questions such as ‘how objective was the reporting of the riots?’ and ‘were the voices of the looters and rioters themselves reported?’

Many local and regional newspapers were in the vanguard of coverage of the riots. They included the Nottingham Post which printed an extra edition when trouble hit the city, the Croydon Guardian which printed an 11-page pull out, and the Newham Recorder which received a thank you from police for their brilliant coverage.

The Latest.com editor Marc Wadsworth said: “We want to learn lessons and come up with positive solutions.

“Significantly, foreign coverage of the disturbances was much more balanced than British reporting in terms of the images used, analysis and breadth of interviewees.

“In Britain, social media, including The-Latest.com ¬†provided a refreshingly alternative view of the dramatic and socially challenging events from the street upwards rather than the other way round.

“I hope many people will join mainstream and alternative media organisations, journalists, bloggers, community representatives, including young people, and pundits at this groundbreaking conference that will be geared to answering important questions about the news media and finding solutions.”

The Latest.com plans to create a report following the conference that will ‘have a positive impact on future media coverage of our communities.’

The debate will be held on Saturday November 26 between 10am and 3pm at London College of Communication, Elephant and Castle. Tickets can be booked via www.the-latest.com.