David Cameron snubs Huddersfield daily on 'carefully staged' visit to factory

There was more evidence the extent to which journalists feel frozen out of a stage-managed election campaign as David Cameron snubbed the Huddersfield Daily Examiner  on a trip to a factory in Meltham.

Daily Mail columnist Stephen Glover has already complained that national press journalists are being excluded from election visits aimed at broadcasters organised by Labour and the Conservatives.

It has also been noted that daily election press conferences appear to have become a thing of the past.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner reporter Joanne Douglas reported being excluded from Cameron’s factory tour, held to trumpet plans for more apprenticeships.

She wrote: “Such visits are staged so carefully by all parties, but I can't tell you all that much about yesterday's tour by Mr Cameron.

“I wasn't actually allowed to follow him around the factory as he delivered this good news story; the privilege of knowing what he did went to my colleagues in the national media.

“For a while I thought my report would be limited to a list of what biscuits I ate in a side room, hidden away from the action, with other local media.

“The Examiner did, however, manage to get our photographer, Andy Catchpool, on the tour.

“But even Andy found himself on the wrong end of a Tory spin doctor when he tried to take a photo of Mr Cameron leaving the factory. There was an exchange of words and no photo.”

Eventually she was granted one minute of questions with Cameron.

Labour and the Conservatives may fear waspish commentary from the opinionated nationals. But snubbing local media smacks of incompetence.

In contrast with many national newspapers, the local media tends to make efforts to be scrupulously fair and balanced in its election coverage.

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner has 15,000 print sales a day and 45,000 daily online browsers. In a seat where Labour is defending a majority of under 5,000 against the Conservatives, you would think that might be an audience worth addressing for Cameron.

David Cameron pictured on a visit to Dawlish in Devon, credit: Reuters.

 

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