A weekly newspaper has removed an article about the British National Party from its website after complaints from readers
Last week's edition of the Brentwood Gazette featured a report on a BNP election meeting in the town which presented the party in what some claimed was a flattering light. The story's intro read: "Proud nationalists were asked to dig deep to support an election candidate when the Brentwood branch of the BNP met for the first time.
It continued: "Buoyant supporters packed into the back room of a patriotic pub for the inaugural meeting of the Brentwood and Chelmsford branch, which has been founded in response to the party's growing membership."
The story, originally published in print last Wednesday, swiftly generated a host of comments on the paper's thisistotalessex.co.uk website.
Will from Chelmsford wrote: "I am surprised that the reporter who attended this meeting didn't make a contribution to the BNP themselves, from the tone of the article it sounds like they're already a fully paid up member! So much for impartiality and journalistic integrity."
Kev, also from Chelmsford, wrote: "Where have journalism and editing gone on this site? No questions raised or cross examining? None at all. This looks as though a BNP press release has been regurgitated in its entirety. Hardly the actions of an independent media during the run up to a general election."
One reader, who asked not to be named, contacted HTFP to say she would be reporting the paper to the Press Complaints Commission over the story. However the story, along with all the comments, has now been taken down from the site.
Brentwood Gazette editor-in-chief Alan Geere has so far not responded to requests for a comment on the episode.
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