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Journalist takes up new role covering council he previously worked for

Credit: Toby Weller

Credit: Toby Weller

A journalist has shared his delight at becoming a “poacher” again after taking a new role covering the council he previously worked for.

Lee Trewhela has been appointed as a local democracy reporter covering Cornwall Council for titles across the county

Lee, pictured, briefly worked in communications for the council after leaving journalism at the end of 2021 in a decision partly taken due to the increase in online abuse he had faced.

He subsequently returned to Cornwall Live and began his new LDR role last month.

Lee told HTFP: “I left journalism at the end of 2021 after 30 years in various local media roles, including arts editor for the West Briton, Cornish Guardian and Cornishman newspapers and chief reporter at CornwallLive.

“However, I soon realised that a ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’ role as part of the comms team at Cornwall Council wasn’t for me and that journalism runs in my blood so I was back at CornwallLive within a few months as feature writer.

“In April I took on the BBC-funded role of local democracy reporter Cornwall for various media outlets across Cornwall.

“As regional journalism morphs and, indeed, feels more squeezed by cuts, it is even more essential that local bureaucracy is held to account and the matters that really matter to people in Cornwall are still covered – the housing crisis being the really major issue at the moment.

“As someone who was part of the internal mechanisation of the council, albeit briefly, it gives me a unique insight into local democracy – it’s good to be a poacher again.”

Richard Whitehouse, Lee’s predecessor in the LDR role, left Cornwall Live last month to become media officer for the South West and Channel Islands at children’s charity the NSPCC.