Proper local newspapers champion their communities. We don’t have any in south-east London, though.
We’re lumbered with the News Shopper, which has decided to write off Woolwich as a ” a troubled area of death, death, death” after a man died in the train tunnel near Woolwich Dockyard station. The quote the line’s based on doesn’t even support the headline – a neighbour simply said: “We don’t want death, death, death round here.”
Not that many people around Woolwich Dockyard will see the paper writing off their neighbourhood – the title distributes precisely zero copies there; like my own street, the high-rises and council flat dwellers of post code sector SE18 5 aren’t considered valuable enough for the Petts Wood-based paper’s advertisers. As with the paper’s hysterical branding of New Cross as “murder mile” a couple of years back, it’s the Shopper doing all it knows how to – revelling in the grimmer aspects of urban life to satisfy the prejudices of a suburban audience.
With last night’s tragedy on a bus in Lee, and the stabbing outside the New Cross Venue, I expect there’ll be more of this to come in this week’s paper, for those of us they actually bother to deliver it to. While the council’s dire Greenwich Time is a terrible propaganda paper, it’s not the only one in this area with a cynical agenda. We’d be better off without both of them.