Citizen journalists applaud The-Latest scoop

Deborah Hobson- Contributing Editor

So, hapless James McGrath, the former political strategist and  'spin doctor' to newly elected Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson, is no doubt adjusting to a quieter life away from the machinations of City Hall after his highly publicised sacking. It was an act of ruthless expediency by Johnson this week which was unequivocally supported by David Cameron, the Conservative party leader.

This followed McGrath's  'foot-in-mouth' race blunder made in a meeting a month ago with The-Latest.com Editor and political activist Marc Wadsworth. When asked by Wadsworth to respond to a suggestion made by writer and broadcaster Darcus Howe that the election of right-winger Boris Johnson might trigger a mass exodus of older African-Caribbean migrants back to the West Indies, McGrath's shockingly ill-considered retort was:  "Well, let them go if they don't like it here."

The story, first revealed as an  'exclusive' on this citizen journalism website, made headline news in the British and foreign press, broadcast media and the internet. But, true to the nature of journalism, press news coverage has swiftly moved on to, among other matters, the disturbing events unfolding in Zimbabwe. And for British newspapers, typically obsessed with celebrity, the latest John Leslie rape allegations have been making headlines.

Enthusiasts of citizens empowered to themselves do reporting in Britain and abroad have been assessing the impact of The-Latest.com's breakthrough story. Overall, this website is greatly heartened by the positive responses from our colleagues in the community of citizen journalists and elsewhere.

British journalism professor Richard Keeble, of the University of Lincoln, applauded the exclusive. He said: "For a citizen journalism to get such a scoop is great achievement."

Keeble nailed an ethical issue about the story which has been raised by pointing out that: "He (Marc Wadsworth) did not rush into print following James McGrath's comment. He sought a private dialogue with him; but despite various attempts to get in touch with him, McGrath failed to respond. And so he went to press on the comment. That Boris Johnson chose to sack McGrath for the comment tells us more about the nervousness of the Tory party over "racism" issues than anything else. Marc still stresses that he didn't seek the sacking - he merely wanted a dialogue with McGrath."

The-Latest.com will continue to advance the progressive march of citizen journalism by uncovering the truth behind the  'official line' of powerful organisations, unravelling their web of lies where they exist, exposing the shadowy and corrupt figures behind the doors of fiefdoms like City Hall and giving you the ordinary citizen the opportunity to publish the stories that are important to you.

Here, The-Latest provides an edited selection of some of the comments about the McGrath exposé from citizen reporters on the NowPublic website.

Generaldecay

Good work.Thanks for posting this, and all the links. It goes to show what CJ can do. :) Great to see CJ making a difference.

Rob Walker

I like this story. It's good stuff.

Azzayindia

Well mainsteam media will always miss such stories because they are attached to one or other ideology/lobby. Well done.

Heritage

The Tories and their allies have spent more energy attacking the journalist who broke the story rather than McGrath's slurs against Black people. Being a citizen journalist certainly can be rough....

Barbara McPherson

This underlines the important and powerful role the citizen journalist has to play in preserving democracy and fair play. Not without risks tho.

Politisite

The government is totally aware of network journalists, but since there are so many CJs and growing, the Government types can't keep up with them. So it looks like some av joe asking questions, no harm done, right? Guess this CJ and those involved showed them. Very cool story from where I sit.


Beaulieu

This scoop also brings to light the 'backlash' to the CJ...and how some of us just aren't prepared for that. I mean, normal staff reporters probably have Big Newspapers to support them. On that website they are encouraged to put in their full name and for safety reasons, particularly, if you write on controversial things, it can be a bit of a risk to the CJ. Remember what happened to Salman Rushdie?

Good for him (Marc Wadsworth) though. Power to the people.

Beaulieu

I read The Times yesterday about the story and it didn't mention that the-latest.com was a CJ site - it just said it was a 'news site' and there was no mention that press history had been made in that story, let alone that the mainstream press ignored the story at first.

Heritage

Perhaps the established players were too busy wiping egg off their faces after being scooped by a two year old rookie website. The importance of established media entities is being diminished and I guess they prefer not to mention that fact.

* See also: http://www.the-latest.com/mcgrath-race-gaffe-row
* See NowPublic

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9 Responses to "Citizen journalists applaud The-Latest scoop"

chris's picture

chris

Thu, 06/26/2008 - 20:09
<p><strong><u>Chris Gaynor</u></strong></p> It was a very good scoop for The-Latest and definitely put it on the radar! Keep up the good work!

David Kendrick

Fri, 06/27/2008 - 02:21
Scoop was a good novel and, later, a rather good film.Using the word often does not make this a scoop.

C

Fri, 06/27/2008 - 01:22
<p><font style="background-color: #e2e2e2">Congratulations! And all you had to do to put your awful site in the spotlight was ruin an innocent man&#39;s life by lying and adding racist &#39;quotes&#39; that were never actually mentioned! </font></p><p><font style="background-color: #e2e2e2">I applaud you, it&#39;s a wonder the embarrassing&nbsp; imitation of journalism that forms this site hasn&#39;t been noticed before! </font></p><p><font style="background-color: #e2e2e2">Just a thought - perhaps the mainstream media didn&#39;t pick up on this to begin with because it&#39;s absolute rubbish? </font></p>

David Kendrick

Sat, 06/28/2008 - 00:24
McGrath could be a racist.Your comments are unambiguously prejudiced. Hoping someone leaves a country because they express a contary opinion does not sound very tolerant.&nbsp; These days racists often deny that they are racist. I notice that many purporting to be against prejudice just can&#39;t help but mention McGrath&#39;s home country. Perhaps he should be sent home.

C

Sat, 06/28/2008 - 02:08
<p>I think you&#39;ll find that the phrase &quot;blacks should go home if they don&#39;t like Mayor&quot; was quoted in the original piece, which was at no point said by McGrath. In addition, following comments by Wadsworth have repeatedly quoted the phrase &quot;go home&quot;, which he also didn&#39;t say.</p><p>Just so you&#39;re aware tearjerker, if you claim someone said something they didn&#39;t actually say, it&#39;s called lying.</p>

Spartan

Sun, 06/29/2008 - 00:06
<p>Tearjerker ... you obviously have either not read Will Selfs comments or fail completely to understand them. l&#39;d explain his take on the subject but l feel l&#39;d be wasting my time judging by the content of your own comments.</p><p>For those who would like to read what Will <u><em>actually</em></u> wrote, go here</p>http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-mayor/article-23498591-details/Only+a+true+hypocrite+has+never+felt+racist/article.do

Little Richardjohn

Fri, 06/27/2008 - 16:59
<font size="4"><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/23/london.boris">James McGrath is definitely not a racist</a>, both Cameron and Johnson say so, and they are both honorourable men, and so </font><font size="4">McGrath</font><font size="4"> must be sacked as quickly as possible.<br />That&#39;s clear as mud then, like the Boris Johnson administration and its Cameron backers.<br />So either Cameron and Johnson don&#39;t know what racism is, in which case they are idiots who shouldn&#39;t be running a creche. Or they do know, and are therefore a pair of standard issue tory slimeballs only fit to run a second hand car showroom.<br /><br />If his remarks were not racist, why did McGrath have to go? Apparently, because of &#39;bad timing&#39;, whatever that means. The battiness of the Bojo administration continues to fail to disappoint.</font>

Spartan

Wed, 07/02/2008 - 10:11
<p>Where&#39;s the calls from all you &#39;journalists&#39;&nbsp;  for Labour MP David Clelland to follow McGrath after David&#39;s pubicised comments to his constituent?</p><p>Oh, l forgot ... the constituent is not of ethnic minority or colour. He&#39;s fair game then.&nbsp; </p>