Journalists at Local World are scratching their heads over the latest wheeze from an editor chasing online page views.
We’ve already had the Maidstone & Medway News publishing a story about the leaking online of nude celebrity pictures. No local angle there, purely an exercise in bumping up traffic.
Similarly there was this article on the Exeter and Express and Echo website this week headlined: EASTENDERS: What time is tonight’s who killed Lucy Beale episode on?
Now the Crawley News has hit on the new wheeze of randomly papping members of the public while out shopping and sticking them online as an image gallery under the headline: ‘PHOTOS: Crawley’s 89 best dressed shoppers’.
Insiders tell me the stunt is a result of a Local World culture where editors are encouraged to do anything to get the website traffic in.
With local press photographers in such short supply nowadays, some wonder whether the Crawley News would be better off using its snapper to…er… photograph news stories.
Privacy-wise, this is a grey area. There are lawyers who would probably argue that ordinary folk out shopping have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
The reaction on the Crawley News Facebook page suggests that readers are also somewhat perplexed.
Donna Lucas WTF? Really??? Youve just had nothing to say so sent a photographer out to snap random people shopping. Do they even know? Sure most would like to pose properly if they did…
Shabz Moghal surely you cant photograph people wothout their permissions?
Sharon Boor Have you finally run out of things to do there? This just smacks of sheer desperation and I'd be mighty peed of if I was one of these people!
Sabrina Ebanks-Thornback I would be livid if I was papped like this, for this pointless article. Absolutely pissed off! Im actually so annoyed and Im not even in the shots! How awful! Kmt!
Hayley Young Crawley News delivering a superb bit of journalism again.
Shaheena Moghal More like 89 random people we photographed at some point n made a stupid article about it to fill this space.
Tony Soper Is there no real news in Crawley? Best dressed? Yeh right oh!