Union angry over TV 'newshounds'

Journalists have hit back at Granada for its “outrageous” portrayal of the press in an episode of Coronation Street this week.

Monday’s double instalment of the soap featured reporters scaling garden fences to reach the back door of a character they wanted to interview, photographers firing flashes through the curtain, and reporters jostling the character and her children.

An NUJ spokesman said it was irresponsible of the producers of one of the UK’s most popular television programmes to reinforce stereotypes of reporters’ conduct, “which can only make their lives more difficult”.

Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, described the portrayal as “ridiculous in this day and age” because in real life many of the points in the voluntary Editors’ Code would have been breached.

The Press Complaints Commission said: “The newshounds portrayed in the episode could easily have fallen foul of guidance on privacy, harassment, intrusion, reporting on children, use of listening devices, misrepresentation and reporting of crime.” A spokeswoman for the programme said it had used “creative licence”, and added: “It’s a drama, there to entertain, not a public service programme. Journalists are expected to take this with a sense of humour.”

By Wale Azeez

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