An editor has threatened online trolls with police action over ‘hate-filled’ abuse published on a regional daily’s social media pages.
James, pictured, has urged Post readers to bring such comments to the newspaper’s attention and has warned the police may be called on to intervene.
His warning comes as the editor’s personal assistant at the Nottingham Post urged readers to “be kind” to the newspaper’s journalists in the wake of recent abuse.
Posting on Twitter, James wrote: “In recent days we have been alerted to some abusive messages on our social media pages that no individual should have to read about themselves.
“The messages went beyond fair critique or criticism. They were hate-filled noted designed to cause harm to those targeted.
“We will not tolerate this and have taken steps to delete the messages and block the perpetrators from our pages. Should we be sufficiently concerned, we will ask the police to investigate.
“We cannot win the war against the tolls without your help, and ask that you help bring to our attention anything you believe to be deliberately harmful to others.”
HTFP understands the messages in question were aimed at a female MP, but the warning has prompted Jeremy Clifford, editor-in-chief of Post owner JPIMedia, to issue a statement supporting the company’s journalists against abuse.
On Twitter, he wrote: “We will continue to stand up for our journalists who every day carry out their profession with dedication and a commitment to the truth.”
Elsewhere, Katrina Smith, who is PA to the editor at the Nottingham Post, has written a piece for the newspaper’s Nottinghamshire Live sister website urging critics of its journalists to “think before they attack”.
Katrina wrote: “I’ve seen many changes over the years. Witnessing firsthand the decline in our print readership and circulation and the advancement of the digital era.
“Now I’m not a journalist, but I’m extremely passionate about our industry and the people who work in it. It takes a tremendous amount of hard-work, dedication and commitment to work in a newsroom. The hours are very demanding and the starting pay is low.
“We’re a team that is steadfast in our principles. Working at an extremely fast pace to produce accurate local news. Our pride is our passion and our community is our love.
“And yes, we also do really good things. Whether it be raising money for the homeless, honouring our future generation or shouting as loud as we can about Nottingham and what we have to offer.
“But it can be a struggle witnessing the daily criticism and trolling of regional journalists. My colleagues, who work so very, very hard.
“We won’t change and our love and passion for regional journalism will continue. I’m very proud to work with a team whose work ethics are second to none.”