Friday, 19 July 2013

Smith, the abuser, revisted by the national media

THE fifty-year old story of Cyril Smith abusing young men in the Cambridge House boys hostel in Rochdale in the 1960's is once again attacting national media interest.

Exaro is a national news agency, run by extremely distinguished journalists, like David Hencke, the award winning, former Guardian journalist.  I have been working with the team there on the Smith story for some months.

Earlier this week they ran a couple of stories on their website  relating to Smith's statements to the police, when he was being investigated by them about his abuse in 1969/70, quoting directly from files they have gained access to, via Freedom of Information requests.  You can find out some more details by visting the web link, above. 

Unfortunately, the full stories sit behind Exaro's paywall.  You have to subscribe to them (about £50 per year) to get full details of this, and the many other very good stories they cover.  The paywall is a nuisance for news followers, used to getting "free" news, but the people who run this site are journalists who need paying - just like everybody else.  The subscription fees pay their wages - there is no Rupert Murdoch lurking in the background to abuse and warp their words and stories and fill thier own pockets in the process.

Exaro's man on the Smith case is Nick Fielding who has had a long and successful Fleet Street career.  He is promising much more on the Smith story over the coming weeks.  I'll try and keep you up to speed on this, as details emerge.

Meanwhile, a high profile and well-regarded team of TV journalists is putting together a story on Smith and related abuse, likely to be shown in the autumn on a major terrestial UK channel.  Sorry for being obsucre on this, but they are anxious that their story and details are not pre-empted by early leaks.

Again, I have spent some time with the journalists on this story, and without betraying any confidences they have shared with me, when transmitted, the well-researched programme is likely to offer some considerable solace to Smith's victims. 

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