The editor of the Stroud News and Journal in Gloucestershire – Sue Smith – is understood to have been suspended in the middle of a row between the paper and a parish council.
According to several well-placed local sources, Sue Smith, editor of the Newsquest-owned paper, was suspended last week.
Local sources believe Smith’s apparent suspension is linked to the paper’s reporting of a dispute between a parish council and a campaign to save a community post office.
Some in the community accused the council of not fighting hard enough to save the post office, and councillors from Minchinhampton Parish Council were annoyed by a News and Journal headline that read: ‘Council bullies force post office closure”.
Councillors complained that the headline was not in inverted commas to show it was the opinion of some locals.
Parish councillor Sally Morgan said: ‘I do not believe that Sue Smith should ever have been suspended. I accept that mistakes are made – as far as I am concerned I was not worried about it.”
Morgan said that while some other members of the council did not share this view and were annoyed by the story, the council never had a meeting to discuss the paper or its actions.
She said: ‘[Smith’s suspension] does seem draconian.I at least accept that errors are made. It’s so important to have democracy and that the press are not gagged in any way, and that meetings are reported.”
Stroud News and Journal publisher June Griffin declined to comment.