Thursday, 27 September 2007

Folkestone - Sloppy and Sneering Reporting by the Guardian

I've read with interest today the report by Guardian arts correspondent Charlotte Higgins on the inaugural Folkestone Triennial.

Sadly her article is loaded with anti-Folkestone prejudice which really does little to further the cause of the town in regenerating itself. It is also far from accurate and leaves me asking the question, why did you bother? It also recycles a lot of copy that my Old Harveian comtemporary, well-known Philosopher Julian Baggini wrote about three years ago.

My recollection of my childhood was that many people used to come to Folkestone to spend time on the beaches and for a short getaway during the 1970s. It certainly wasn't as simple as passing through the town to get a Ferry to go somewhere else as Charlotte asserts.

The sneering assertions continue:

Folkestone smells of fish and chips. Er, perhaps a little area around Tontine Street does but frankly there is a hell of a lot more of the town than just Tontine Street.

Roger De Hann via the Creative Foundation has been working on regenerating the town for at least three years now. It's not only just started.

The other sneer relates to the claim that there are a large number of teenage mothers in the town. Perhaps there is a significant number clustered in certain parts of East Ward and parts of Harbour Ward in Folkestone but the way the article is phrased would suggest that the place is teeming with teenage Mums.

The use of the term "slum" is hardly appropriate either. That would suggest that there was a lot of substandard housing around Tontine Street. The reality is that there were a significant number of business properties that had become empty and somewhat rundown which the Creative Foundation has done a great job of renovating.

We then have to put up with ludicrous nonsense of Folkestone being compared (negatively) to Venice? What the fcuk is that all about? Mention of the Royal Military Canal [WHICH IS IN HYTHE!] is used as the tenuous hook for this stupid section.

Charlotte Higgins, you've been Fisked!

If I were your journalism teacher I would ask you to come and see me after class. A mostly shoddy piece of work.

I hope we will see an apology to the people of Folkestone in your pages soon.

1 comment:

David Nikel said...

It seems the inept reporting of the Guardian wasn't just limited to the Brighton Conference.