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Newspaper columnist quits after car is vandalised

A newspaper columnist has quit after her car was vandalised – saying she could “no longer be light-hearted”.

Diane Unsworth wrote a weekly whimsical column for the Lynn News about King’s Lynn, under the name Diane Lines, but decided she could not be positive about the town she “used to love so much”.

She decided to quit the role and penned her final Between the Lines column, pictured below, for the bi-weekly title earlier this month, in which she hit out at problems in the town.

Diane, who began writing her column in January as a resident of the town, wrote that her car had been vandalised by drunks who “had a punch up around my car”.

Between the Lines column

It followed a previous incident last November in which a man drove into the back of her car, before driving off. Her car was left a write-off and the man was later fined in court.

In her last piece, Diane wrote that when she began the column, her brief was to write a light-hearted column about the local area but she could no longer do that.

She wrote: “Guess what – last weekend, when all the drunks were pouring out of the pubs and clubs in Norfolk Street, some of them decided to come in to my road and have a punch up.

“They also decided to have the punch up around my car. And do you know what, they have ruined one of the doors.

“I am sorry that the town I used to love so much seems to have been taken over by such a malaise.

“I told the PC that, this Saturday night, I was going to stand at the end of my road and battle the drunks away on my own if I had to. How very sad.”

Editor Mark Leslie said: “Diane hadn’t been with us very long, but had become a good writer, so it was a shock to lose her. She’s certainly sparked a debate about the state of the town.

“I don’t agree with her view. King’s Lynn is a very nice place to live, but I am glad she has told me that she would like to contribute to the paper again in the future, and we would be glad to accommodate her.”

18 comments

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  • May 14, 2015 at 7:24 am
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    Clearly too comfortable (and amateur?) for too long and perhaps not someone with the right “edge” for a good column. No one wants nasty(ish) things to happen but if they do, then a writer will use them to create something worth reading, not walk away in a huff. You live in the town centre and a drunk had a fight near your car and caused some damage. If King’s Lynn really is a town called Malice and you want to be a vigilante in your street then write about it Mrs, write about it.

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  • May 14, 2015 at 8:38 am
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    Wow, I wish I’d lived such a quiet life that stuff like that really shocked me. Where I grew up people used to drive onto the pitch during Sunday league football matches and try and run the referee over. Good times.

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  • May 14, 2015 at 9:12 am
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    That’s the thing about amateur contributors, you can’t rely on them.

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  • May 14, 2015 at 9:18 am
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    Jeff, i bet you have some fantastic stories to tell! She should not quit and write on!! Maybe it is for the best as she sounds like a bit of a wall flower and too gentle for journalism.

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  • May 14, 2015 at 9:52 am
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    Having read the column, I think this lady is actually quite a good writer. More so than some other cringe inducing ‘big names’ Daily Record anyone?
    But I suspect she is not a professional because a professional knows that a situation like the one she is described is something she can build on in print.
    I am sure she wasn’t hired to put any kind of positive spin on the town.
    Maybe she just got sick of writing the column?

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  • May 14, 2015 at 10:08 am
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    Welcome to the real World Darlin………. You appear to think you own the road outside your house. You don’t – it’s a public space. As for putting cones on ‘errant’ drivers’ cars, I’d be VERY careful. You’ll end up with a bill for damaged paintwork if you’re not careful.

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  • May 14, 2015 at 10:32 am
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    To be fair, she did say in the article that her road was an unadopted one. So it could be private, and people might not have an automatic right to park there. With great respect to cameragirl, who I am sure takes great pictures, the writing is very ordinary indeed and the subject matter (she gives a list) is the usual curtain twitch, urban whinge variety. Not much for the readers to miss but the Ed will have to find another punter to fill half a page to keep his free UGC ratio spreadsheet on the right side, otherwise a JP box ticker will be in touch….

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  • May 14, 2015 at 10:38 am
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    Too amateurish and lightweight to be a columnist, I’m afraid. But this just shows the drawbacks of newspapers taking on unsuitable people because they haven’t the funds to pay anyone better.

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  • May 14, 2015 at 10:56 am
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    “Too gentle for journalism”…..????
    I think most journalists and media people have been on a cushy number until recent times. Too many never go out of their nice, warm offices and the only thing they have to face is coming across another “media person” with an ego the size of Mount Everest.
    Try getting a job on a fishing trawler or a building site.

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  • May 14, 2015 at 11:25 am
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    Who’s kidding whom…

    At leas they’d be better paid!

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  • May 14, 2015 at 12:29 pm
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    So she lasted precisely five months as a columnist.

    Embarrassing for the paper. frankly.

    And another great advert for “community journalism.”

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  • May 14, 2015 at 12:32 pm
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    Stationery – E for Envelope, Diane. Where were the subs?

    I jest, of course.

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  • May 14, 2015 at 1:28 pm
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    Citizen journalist bites dust. Never mind. Just grab the next person passing the office. Anyone will do.

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  • May 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm
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    “Guess what . . . and do you know what?” So, absolutely – I don’t care.

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  • May 14, 2015 at 2:27 pm
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    Christ, what a bunch of embittered, knarled old moaners on here.
    Lighten up folks, you are starting to live up to the stereotype!

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  • May 14, 2015 at 2:32 pm
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    Who’ s kidding whom? – How have journalists had a cushy time? Nope, think you have been at sea for too long to notice how the industry has been going down the sink hole for the past 10 years. I dearly wish you can use some of your building skills to repair our industry? As for the columnist, she is too sensitive.

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  • May 14, 2015 at 6:46 pm
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    I’m not sure how a drunken punch-up in the street can lead someone to give up writing a column.
    There would be some logic to her decision if she had been targeted by vandals who disliked her views.
    This sounds like a cop-out. Incidents like this should prompt one to write, not chuck the towel in.
    Amateurs who write for newspapers are rarely able to keep going. They either run out of ideas or enthusiasm. What began as a novelty becomes a chore, especially when there’s a deadline looming.
    What a joke the whole thing has become.

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  • May 18, 2015 at 9:16 am
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    I don’t think she’ll be missed. She jumps from one petty nuisance to another and her writing is no better, and perhaps much worse, than the people who contribute to the letters page. A real journalist would have delved deeper into the staffing issue at the local police station, discovered the impact this is having on crime and trust. If newspapers continue to include such boring free content, more and more people will vote with their purse and seek free online news.

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