Editor gets his hands dirty

By Sarah Lagan

Editor Ian Mean worked as a hospital cleaner for a day to humanise election coverage in Gloucester’s The Citizen.

On
the eve of the election the paper carried five pages on health and a
first person piece by Mean documenting his work at the Gloucestershire
Royal Hospital, headlined “Cleaners do a fine job against all the odds”.

Mean said: “I certainly won’t give up the day job. I think they do a marvellous job and are really in a no-win situation.

It was extremely interesting but incredibly hard work.”

The Citizen also asked readers what was most important in the election and ran a series on “The Burning Issues”.

This included an article on law and order by a reader whose life had been made a misery by anti-social behaviour.

On 5 May the series culminated in Tony Blair answering questions chosen from hundreds of readers’ letters.

Topics included violent crime, Iraq, pensions, education, health and retaining the Back Badge of the Glosters Regiment.

Mean
added: “There was huge election fatigue for newspaper readers. I felt
it was important to humanise the issues which were local, not simply
accept national statements from politicians.”

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