A couple of days ago Channel 4 News decided to send someone down to Brixton to do a report on how people here feel about the police. The guy they chose, Jordan Jarrett-Bryan, is not normally used to doing news journalism, everything else he’s done for them has been sports reporting.
In the report Jarratt-Bryan spoke to 5 people. One of them was the controversial race relations activist Lee Jasper, who predictably said that nobody in Brixton trusts the police. The only other expert voice was Naomi Brown, Youth Development Manager for a PR firm called Livity. She too said that none of the people she works with trust the police.
The other three people in the report, random passersby, locals, also agreed that people in Brixton don’t trust the police. Straightforward, just what the programme’s editor probably asked for.
However, when urbanspaceman, a long-standing member of the Urban75 forum watched the report he noticed something odd.
I’ve lived in central Brixton for 30 years, and so I watched Jordan Jarrett-Bryan’s report last night with interest. But as he developed his case, I became puzzled by the seeming uniformity of his vox pop respondents’ views. Because, the thing is, it’s pretty much impossible to find anyone in Brixton who shares an opinion with anyone else.
So he did some investigation and soon discovered that Jarrett-Bryan used to work for Livity, the PR firm that employs Naomi Brown. Not only that, according to LinkedIn, all three of the random passersby are in fact employed by Livity. Matthew Peltier is a Senior Producer there, Henry Houdini is a Junior Assistant Producer and Beulah Lambert is an Account Manager.
Of course, it’s quite possible that the LinkedIn profiles are fake. Also possibly fake is Matthew Peltier’s twitter account @PeltierEffect where he is described as a Senior Producer at Livity and retweets @henry_houdini talking about attending an event with Livity as well as retweeting @_JordanJBryan.
If it is true that all these people were actually friends or colleagues of the reporter then I expect that there’s a massive investigation going on over at ITN News. But it’s disappointing that none of Jordan Jarrett-Bryan’s more experienced colleagues noticed that there was something awry with his report, they must surely know that he used to work for Livity and that he’s new to journalism. What’s ironic is that the only non-Livity person in the film, Lee Jasper, left his job working for City Hall because of a scandal about cronyism.
You can still watch the film on the Channel 4 site. (Update: The film has now been taken down and The Independent has picked up the story.)
Also, I first read about this story on BrixtonBuzz.