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Regional journalists urge Coronation Street writers to ‘do your research’

Regional journalists have urged soap writers to “do their research” after negative portrayals of reporters in recent episodes.

Industry professionals have hit out at Coronation Street after a scene which saw a mob of local journalists harass the friends of a murder victim on the street.

The scene, which aired on Monday’s night’s episode of the ITV programme, prompted reaction from journalists across the land, who took to social media to voice their criticism.

In the show, the local press is represented by the fictional Weatherfield Gazette, and real-life reporters have also criticised the made-up paper’s poor design and content.

Real-life reporters have criticised the fictional Weatherfield Gazette

Real-life reporters have criticised the fictional Weatherfield Gazette

On Twitter, George Torr, reporter at Sheffield daily The Star, wrote: “Coronation Street portraying the press in the most ridiculous light. Reporters and photographers running down the street getting in the faces of friends of a murder victim. This doesn’t happen.

“Complete bollocks like this gives local media a bad name. No wonder journalism is seen in such a poor light by the average person.”

Teesside Gazette sub-editor Lindsey Sampson added: “Please [Coronation Street] – do your research. Learn how local media works.

“It’s insulting and upsetting to paint us as monsters in all your storylines that feature members of the media. Journalists are principled, have morals and a code of practice, and never hound grieving families.”

The design and content of the Gazette also came in for criticism, with Northants Telegraph reporter Sam Wildman posting the below on the social media site.

Northern Echo reporter Charlotte Bowe added: “A lot of things are far-fetched in soap land, but it would be nice if Coronation Street made a tiny effort to portray how journalists and media law actually works. Not to mention exclamation marks slapped all over The Weatherfield Gazette.”

9 comments

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  • January 10, 2018 at 8:29 am
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    I guess a bunch of hacks sitting around a poorly-staffed office ripping tributes from Facebook doesn’t make good telly.
    Also it’s Coronation Street not The Wire, what do you honestly expect?

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  • January 10, 2018 at 9:11 am
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    I do have to agree with the story – the way local newspaper reporters are portrayed in soaps is horrendous. This latest incident in Coronation Street was terrible to be honest …… but it’s not the first time local reporters working on fictional local newspapers in soaps have been portrayed in such a way and it won’t be the last.
    But then again – I do also agree with Hackattack’s comment above!
    While on the subject, however, and please don’t think I am an avid Coronation Street viewer….but there was a recent storyline where a young lad who works as a waiter in a restaurant suddenly sees himself as Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein and starts doing investigative journalism into some dodgy and dangerous goings-on in the area …… and the editor of the local paper loves it and encourages him to keep digging. Absolute nonsense!!!!
    But, hey, it’s a soap opera! :-)

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  • January 10, 2018 at 11:09 am
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    ‘Twas ever thus. Soap operas, and TV drama in general, have always got it terribly wrong when they portray the press, which is odd, because the very same writers and producers will make great play of how well they research the work of, say, the police or medics.
    I can remember the very first time I got a negative reaction from the public because of a soap’s demonisation of hacks. It was at least 25 years ago and I was on the knocker in Manchester after a lad had fallen from a tree and impaled himself on railings. No-one would speak, and one householder closed the door on me with the words: ‘We don’t want another Brookside here’. There had been a storyline in Brookside at the time in which a reporter had harassed people after some tragic event and actually stolen a photo from someone’s house to use in the newspaper. People really believed that that was how we did our work.

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  • January 10, 2018 at 11:33 am
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    Didn’t even manage to get the splash headline right!
    There’s an apostrophe in New Year’s Day.

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  • January 10, 2018 at 12:29 pm
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    “Teesside Gazette sub-editor Lindsey Sampson added: “Please [Coronation Street] – do your research. Learn how local media works.”

    Cutting and pasting stories about crap being sold in Aldi and reproducing lists of places to eat from TripAdvisor? That’s what the Gazette seems to mainly do these days.

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  • January 10, 2018 at 3:22 pm
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    It’s the ‘Kitten of the Year’ strap that makes me giggle!

    Anyway, don’t get me started on the portrayal of news ‘togs in popular TV culture. Overheads being done on short teles, flash units older than me, no body chimping, everyone looking happy……….Grrrrrrrrr.

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  • January 10, 2018 at 4:53 pm
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    Sorry but as an “old” hack going back to when I started in 1965 we did run after people in the strew and you were expected to when you hit Fleet St. We did go en masse and “camp” outside people’s doors etc. I remember covering the Old Bailey Trial re the Oz newspaper where a pack of hacks ran after the editor and associates after the trial and pinned them against the wall until they gave us a quote, Outrageous – we did not think so at the time. That was journalism then. I am not saying it was right or wrong. It was what we were expected to do. It was also the days when we wld buy a copper a pint in a pub and over time gain their confidence so he would tip us off (Always he – female coppers harpy existed) – and we wld always get the expense back on expenses. And yes “Old Cynic” pictures were snatched from mantlepieces – newspapers employed people to do it – and still do. Having said all that I will agree that for one reason or another television drama never seem to be able to portray a reporter correctly.

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  • January 11, 2018 at 12:43 pm
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    Hang on a minute! I agree that the typical portrayal of journalists in TV soaps is a ‘outdated’ to say the least, but let’s not start judging the errors on this fictional front page. In the last few weeks, we’ve had:

    *The Express & Star publishing the wrong court verdict before the jury’s decision

    *The Melton Times falsely reporting the death of a former mayor

    *The Dorset Echo apologising over the incorrect use of a fatal crash photo

    *The Bristol Post publishing murder details before the family were aware

    *The Cambridge News going to print WITHOUT a front page headline

    I really don’t think any of Sam Wildman’s observations are beyond the realms of possibility in today’s local press. In fact, it’s probably the most accurate feature of Corrie in the last decade!

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  • January 15, 2018 at 1:38 pm
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    Artistic license isn’t it? Coppers always turn up in Corry too, when was the last time you saw one?

    Also, even though the depiction was somewhat hamfisted, the press are more than capable of such skulduggery, especially when the nationals get a sniff. Chap on TV lately who’d been involved in the Manchester Arena bombings talking about people loitering at the end of the ward pretending to be family so they could get an interview.

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