How to beat those trying to keep things a secret

Good morning,

Investigative journalism is hard. It takes time, patience … and often a very thick skin too. Charles Thomson, who works in the Archant Investigations Unit, has won several awards for his work uncovering a child abuse cover up in Essex.

The latest award came from the Association of Online Publishers, who recently named Charles as their Local Hero of the Year.

Writing for Behind Local News this week, Charles looks at some of the obstacles put in his way by authorities — and how to tackle the blocking tactics head on.

Awards season is in full swing generally at the moment, and we have reports from several events, along with the latest in our ‘365 Acts of Local News’ series.

Thanks for reading,

Behind Local News

Hopefully I’ve eased the path for other reporters investigating suspected wrongdoing or…

Charles Thomson from the Archant Investigations Unit has won the Local Hero Award at the AOP Digital Publishing Awards for “creating precedent for other journalists” with a landmark Freedom of Information victory against the police. He explains here how he won a three-year legal battle to unearth shocking secrets about an alleged child abuse cover-up…

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LGBTQ+ journalist network founder among Newsquest’s award winners

Newsquest, the UK’s leading local media group, has announced the winners of its annual Excellence Awards.

The Newsquest Excellence Awards dinner was held at Rutland Hall Hotel, near Oakham, on June 16th 2022 with over 70 people from across the company in attendance.

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Connectivity campaign wins digital prize at AOP awards

Community news brand InYourArea has been recognised with an award for its Cash for Connectivity campaign, which helped provide online access for children whose education would otherwise remain offline.

Cash for Connectivity won the award for ‘Best Publisher-led Social Good Initiative or Campaign’ in the Publishing Excellence Awards category at the AOP Digital Publishing Awards 2022 held earlier this month.

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Global recognition for DC Thomson’s ‘Every Story Starts With You’ campaign

DC Thomson has been recognised in a major international award this week, for the work the company does in taking creative approaches, based on insight, to develop its news brands.

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Reach journalists scoop global honours at international media awards

The work of thousands of journalists at publisher Reach has been honoured at the International News Media annual Global Media Awards.

Reach, the UK’s largest publisher of local news in the UK, scooped Best Newsroom Transformation at the INMA Awards, which were announced last week.

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Birmingham journalists launch #foodsos as thousands go hungry in city every day

“People are starving in our rich city.” A powerful statement led off BirminghamLive’s new FoodSOS campaign — a response to the grim realities that sit behind the ‘cost of living’ phrase which has become ubiquitous in recent months.

FoodSOS launched this week across BirminghamLive and sister newspaper Birmingham Mail with the intention of helping people in practical ways.

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Newsquest launches True Crime UK series across its online network

Newsquest, the UK’s leading local media group, has launched a new multimedia True Crime series across its network of online news brands.

Presented by Newsquest journalist Jody Doherty-Cove, Charged — True Crime UK will feature unique insight from reporters and editors who were at the heart of the stories, from first breaking the news in their communities to sitting through extensive trials.

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Weeklies use front pages to mark anniversary of terrorist attack

A weekly newspaper cleared its front page to remember the victims of a terrorist attack two years ago.

Independent title Reading Today used a poster front, showing an image of the Forbury Lion statue lit up in remembrance.

The Reading Chronicle weekly newspaper also led on the Forbury Garden memorial event.

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Edinburgh Evening News finds out what happened next to Ukrainian refugees

In February, there was little news other than what was happening in Ukraine, as Russian tanks rolled in and Putin-endorsed missiles began firing.

Fast forward four months, and there’s a very real risk that the conflict in Ukraine will drift off the daily news list, becoming a daily constant. ‘Ukraine fatigue’ as Boris Johnson described it recently.

For local journalists here in the UK, there’s a very pertinent ‘what happened next’ story too. After a slow response, the UK government eventually made it possible for Ukrainian refugees to settle here. It seems reasonable to ask: What happened next?

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Howzat! FOI reveals cost of holding election count at cricket ground

For many reporters, local election nights mean hours spent in sports halls, town halls or community centres.

But one South London council went for a slightly grander venue — the Oval cricket ground.

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Thanks very much for reading,

Behind Local News

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