JUST in case anyone is in any doubt – when it comes to reporting local news Warrington Worldwide and myself are completely politically independent.
We also make every effort to give politicians a right of reply as we endeavour to provide balanced news reports.
Over the years I have been accused of being a “council mouthpiece,” a “Tory sympathiser” and a “Lib Dem supporter.” So I must be doing something right!
We work closely with both MPs, Andy Carter (Tory) in the South and Charlotte Nichols (Labour) in the North.
We deal with press releases from all political parties and Warrington Borough Council and work closely with parish councils in our local communities.
Our agenda is always to be fair and balanced and as factual as possible when it comes to reporting local issues.
I am totally transparent when it comes to my other roles in the community, either as Trustee of a charity, a director of a board or more recently as Chair of Warrington Healthwatch.
You might wonder why I am saying all this?
Well, my integrity has been called into question a couple of times recently, including an accusation that I write sensationalist stories that are not factually correct – pretty much the biggest insult someone can throw at me.
Unlike some media we are not into clickbait – but I was trained as a journalist how to write a headline to gain interest.
I was also trained on how to give all sides an equal opportunity to have their say.
After more than four decades as a journalist, I am not going to change the way I write stories – and I’m also not going to tolerate people going on social media making wild accusations about me or Warrington Worldwide.
If you have an issue with me or my publication just make direct contact by phone, email or letter – and I will happily discuss any concerns you might have.
I don’t have a political agenda.
My only agenda is to try and promote Warrington in a positive light and make it a better place for us all to live.
Unfortunately, we do have to carry negative news as well as positive – again to give a balanced picture – as just like pretty much every other town and city on the planet, bad things do happen.
When they do it is important to highlight them – just like it is important to highlight issues of public interest.
Unfortunately, some of our elected politicians don’t practice what they preach and as I have previously said, politics appears to be getting more and more toxic – with social media, a necessary evil for most people in public life, only fuelling the fire.
I try and follow the golden rule of never posting anything I wouldn’t put in print or say to someone’s face.
I certainly wouldn’t post late at night after having consumed alcohol.
I understand Warrington Borough Council will be promoting a “Debate not hate” campaign in September. This is something I totally agree with and will support.
We all need to learn to tolerate other opinions and debate them in a healthy way.
Here at Warrington Worldwide, we will not tolerate hateful comments – although It is impossible to keep track of every comment made on social media – if you find something offensive please alert us an we will do our best to deal with it.
In the meantime, we will carry on being Warrington’s “critical friend” highlighting all the good things that happen, while challenging as and when we required.
We are here to represent our readers and local residents to the best of our ability – maybe some elected politicians should take note.