Phone hacking: South London not cricket for the Standard

There’s not been much to smile about around the still-unfolding News of the World phone-hacking scandal. But one eye-opening aspect was seeing David Cameron’s former PR boss hauled into Lewisham police station for questioning on Friday. It appears Andy Coulson lives in Forest Hill, behind the Horniman Museum – a short ride on the P4 bus from Lewisham’s huge cop shop.

Coulson has not been charged with any crime, so is free to practise his cricket strokes in a nearby park. But in a story which is clearly of interest to many south Londoners, since the protagonist lives in their midst, why did Monday night’s Evening Standard only refer to him playing cricket in “a south London park”?

Shouldn’t a London newspaper identify where in London a photo is taken? It’s pretty much certain that if he lived in Islington, or Primrose Hill, or elsewhere north of the Thames, we’d be told where he was wielding his bat. But for south London, it’s just “a south London park”.

Clearly this is a trivial point in a story which seems like it will result in huge, yet unpredictable consequences. But if a paper that is supposed to serve London is reluctant to identify where in the capital a photo was taken, I wonder why it doesn’t drop the “London” pretence and get itself some national distribution each evening instead.

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