A regional news website sent one of its reporter on a night out to debunk a negative article about his patch which was published by its national sister newspaper.
Cornwall Live journalist Mike Smallcombe was dispatched to spend a Thursday night out in Newquay after a story appeared on the Daily Mirror’s website which described the seaside town as a “shrine to debauchery” and compared it to the holiday resort of Magaluf, in Mallorca.
The headline on the feature read ‘Crowds of teens swig vodka in Newquay streets and sing ‘we’re gonna get s*****d'”.
In a piece documenting his own experience in Newquay, 14 days after the Mirror had visited, Mike said locals had been left feeling “upset, appalled, angry and outraged”.
He wrote: “What is evident is that those words have really cut deep with many people in this town. After so many years of bad press Newquay has been battling against its reputation as a debauched ‘Wild West’ mecca of sex and booze.
“They thought giant strides had been made, and then this. On one of the best read news websites in the country.
“I knew, as soon as I read the article, that what the Mirror Online’s reporter Adam Lee-Potter said he saw that night would be largely to do with the fact he visited the resort during the two-week period at the beginning of July, when underage kids come to Newquay at the end of their exams.
“So it wasn’t an accurate portrayal of what Newquay is really like in midweek during the summer months.”
Mike visited several different bars over the course of his evening, and said he had found his experience to be “absolutely nothing like” Magaluf.
He concluded: “The scenes from a couple of weeks ago occurred during the two week period at the beginning of July when underage kids come to Newquay at the end of their exams. There were zero underage drinkers around on Thursday night.
“There will still be some isolated incidents of anti-social behaviour and violence. And a few people will be sick and stumble over in the street. But this happens in any town across the U.K. that has bars and clubs.”