A former ITNâ€ˆnewsreader discovered sleeping rough in Brighton has hit out at some of the press coverage of his story.
The Times reported on Tuesday that Ed Mitchell, the homeless former journalist with Reuters, the BBC, ITN and CNBC – who has come to national prominence after The Argus in Brighton reported his story last week – regularly returned to his mother’s home to wash and do laundry and that he still has a collection of designer clothes.
‘It’s got to the point where I feel badly about my own profession,’Mitchell told Press Gazette. ‘My mother’s 83, she’s a frail, ailing woman who should not be approached by nasty inquisitive journalists.”
The Argus first reported last week that Mitchell had become homeless when spiralling credit card debt and alcoholism had forced him into bankruptcy after he had been made redundant from CNBC. It was widely followed up nationally.
The story had emerged when an Argus employee, Andy Dickinson, encountered 54-year-old Mitchell while volunteering for a charity.
Argus reporter Jess Bauldry, who has been covering the story, said: ‘It’s perfect timing for this story, and the fact that he has some celebrity status made it a national concern.
Mitchell said: ‘I must say that 99.9 per cent of the feedback has been very encouraging.
‘It’s very moving and positive. Out there, there are so many people who identify with what I’m going through in terms of alcoholism, credit problems and loss of home, and there are those who have actually realised that they are not that far off themselves.”
The Argus abandoned plans this week to have Mitchell present its online video bulletins. The decision was due to Mitchell’s ‘personal circumstances’said Argus editor Michael Beard.
Mitchell said the sudden publicity had presented new opportunities that would make 2008 a better year.
‘It won’t ever be back to what I formerly was, nor do I want it to be. But the skills that I’ve learned over the past 30 years will be useful,’he said.