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Charity boss praises regional journalism

A charity chief has praised the regional press in an article in which he also decries the workings of the national media.

Writing on the Huffington Post website, Andy Winter, chief executive of Brighton Housing Trust, said there is a direct correlation between his organisation’s local media profile and public support for its cause.

In the same piece he claimed national journalists have no consideration for the consequences of their stories.

He also offers up particular praise for Brighton Argus columnist and former reporter Adam Trimingham’s approach to him over a potentially damaging story.

Andy wrote: “Good local journalists understand the need for an ongoing relationship, and are not interested in dishing the dirt for its own sake. They are, in my experience, decent and ethical.

“I was once approached by Adam Trimingham from the Argus to say that a very damaging allegation had been made against me by a senior politician.

“Shaken, I asked him if I could have a few minutes to think through how to respond. He said that there was no need for a response.

“When I asked why not, he said: ‘Because it’s not true. I’m not running the story. I just thought you would want to hear what was being said.’

“The national media is a completely different beast.

“They have no interest or need to nurture a relationship. They have a filing deadline and, working in a competitive market, they don’t have to consider the consequences of their stories.”

Adam commented: “Andy Winter has proved adroit at using the media to the advantage of Brighton Housing Trust. He has also established good relations with reporters as you can see from the examples he quotes.

“I have dealt with other housing organisations and it is amazing the difference a frank and honest approach from them makes.”