Anarchists 'passed off' Advertiser, claims editor

By Sarah Lagan

East London Advertiser editor Malcolm Starbrook has claimed his
paper’s design, layout, masthead and even bylines have been “blatantly
hijacked”

by a publication produced by an anonymous organisation aiming to
sway local opinion against the bi-annual arms fair, which is taking
place in London’s Docklands.

Starbrook was contacted by a
concerned reader who mistook an eight-page free publication, being
distributed from an East London bookshop, with the Advertiser and could
not believe the Archant title was offering its own opinion on the
matter.

Under the masthead East London Adversaries the
organisation printed its publication using the same colour and font as
the Advertiser.

The sports page on the back of the publication
used the same masthead before the Advertiser was relaunched, and uses
the byline Jona Smith where the Advertiser’s sports editor is called
John Smith.

Starbrook believes the publication has mimicked his paper to piggyback its strong reputation in the area.

He said: “They have blatantly hijacked our paper and I find it appalling.

“I
am angered that an organisation sets itself up to replicate a
reputablenewspaper and uses the respect we have to gain support for
what is a call for protests and, even worse, the possibility of
violence.

“They have the potential to damage our reputation. We always report on the event, but we never take a view.

“They are taking a partisan view in their coverage and are attempting to make it look as if it’s the ELA’s reports.

It’s all spun against the organisers of the event, but we have never tried to side with the protesters.”

Contact details in the paper are false.

Starbrook added: “If we could stop them we would, but the whole thing about anarchy is that you can’t find those in charge.”

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