By Alyson Fixter
Journalists at more than 60 weekly newspapers were banned from going
out to report on the London bombings last Thursday amid fears for their
safety – even though some were as far away as Kent and Buckinghamshire.
Staff at Trinity Mirror Southern titles – including the South London
Press, The Wharf, the Croydon Advertiser, the Reading Chronicle and
even the Whitstable & Herne Bay Times series – received an order to
come back to the office or go straight home on Thursday afternoon.
member of staff who contacted Press Gazette said the decision “went
down like a lead balloon” in newsrooms as even journalists who were on
jobs unrelated to the bombing, miles from London, were recalled.
email, which was sent to all TMS newsdesk staff at 12.22pm by edi-
torial director Marc Reeves, said: “Staff safety is the NUMBER ONE
priority at this time.
“Please call back into the office anyone
out in the field whether on bombrelated stories or not. Alternatively,
send them home if they are closer.
“For staff in the office, take a view based on local police advice whether and when to send them home.
“You must account for every member of staff under your care today.”
reporter at one of the weekly papers, who asked not to be named, said:
“Even reporters covering village fetes out in the middle of nowhere had
to go home.
“With some of the orders we get, it has long been
believed that Trinity Mirror head honchos forget that we actually work
hard to produce local newspapers, and this one just about summed it up.
the biggest story of the year,London TMS reporters and photographers
were recalled to their offices and then sent home as their offices were
A spokesman for Trinity Mirror Southern said: “Every TMS
title is a weekly, and the deadlines for all but three had passed.
Those that hadn’t gone to press already had extensive coverage of the
morning’s events filed.
“Therefore, after consulting with senior
editors from across TMS, the managing director and editorial director
took the view that there was no immediate need for employees to be out
on the streets.
“They decided the responsible course of action was to recall all field staff to their offices or to send them home.”
added that papers such as TMS flagship the South London Press – which
comes out on a Friday – achieved “superb” coverage despite the early
end to the day.