I do a lot of Hyperlocal journalism as part of my degree, living in the current UK City of Culture we’re not short of local stories here.
I think trust is something that we, as journalists, have to earn, and we do that by asking the questions, and getting the answers, that our audience want, however this is becoming increasingly difficult to do because of the control that is put on the media by the powers that be.
A few weeks ago I covered a topping out ceremony at Hull New Theatre, they were celebrating that the outside work was done in the timescale they had set for it, what people really wanted communicated was that it’s a major embarrassment that our flagship theatre is still a building site, and still nowhere near ready this far into the year that Hull is City of Culture.
I interviewed one man who has lost his job because of the slow down of trade because of the work going on at the theatre, and I wanted to interview Coun Steven Brady, the leader of Hull City Council, to put it to him that it is embarrassing that the theatre is so far off completion.
However he ended up refusing my interview, and I got a councilor who is responsible for this project, with a lady from the council media department stood over me, watching the whole interview to make sure I didn’t ask anything inappropriate.
I will always try my best to ask the questions that my audience want me to ask, and to get the answers they deserve, so that I can build trust, but when I’m being controlled like that, what choice do I realistically have?