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Editor quits committee over story ‘kerfuffle’

An editor who used inside information for a story about a local redevelopment project has resigned from a community body saying:  “I let my competitiveness get the better of me.”

Tindle Newspapers-owned View From Lyme Regis recently ran an exclusive about a £1m plan to refurbish the town’s Woodmead Halls.

Editor Philip Evans had written the story after being privy to discussions about the project in his capacity as acting secretary of the Woodmead Halls Management Committee.

But the story caused a furore among local councillors and Philip has now announced he is resigning from the committee to prevent similar conflicts of interest arising in future.

Philip, who is also managing director of the paper and its sister titles in the View From series, gave his account of the episode in an article in this week’s edition headlined:  ‘Halls kerfuffle was down to me!’

He admitted the story had caused “quite a stir” and had also “upset a few councillors” who claimed they had known nothing about the proposal.

“As acting secretary for the Woodmead Halls Management Committee I was privy to original discussions about the idea and had agreed with the development trust  to release details about their proposals in View From Lyme Regis on an agreed date,” he wrote.

“However I let my journalistic competitiveness get the better of me and published the story a week earlier than intended.

“It is difficult sometimes balancing my resopnsibility as an editor and playing an active role in community affairs and I have to admit that I used the information gained under trust to the advantage of this newspaper.

“I decided the only course of action was to stand down from the Woodmead Halls committee after a number of years so that my position was not compromised in the future.”

Philip built up the View From series from scratch between 2003 and 2009 but Sir Ray Tindle subsequently purchased the group of East Devon and Dorset-based titles in two separate deals.

View From Axminster, Seaton, Honiton, Crewkerne and Blackdown Hills were bought by Sir Ray in 2009, before View From Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester, Bridport, Beaminster and Lyme Regis followed in 2012.


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  • November 16, 2012 at 11:05 am

    A former editor of mine used to sit on a major local development group. He would leak me info about future plans and I would then have to ring up council employees etc to confirm the story – while playing this game whereby I would say I couldn’t reveal my sources!

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  • November 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm


    The council would have to be pretty stupid not to put 2 + 2 together

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  • November 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I think Mr Evans has absolutely done the right thing.

    Playing an “active role in the community” all too often ends up with you staring at a conflict of interests.

    I’d argue the right of readers to know what’s going on should always come first.

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