Tag Archives: Police

Guardian Article On Charles Brett

Charles Brett’s headstone in Harpurhey Cemetery.

I’ve had an article published on the Guardian site about Charles Brett, the first Manchester police officer to be killed on duty. He was shot dead on 18 September 1867, as a group of Fenians sprung two of their leaders from a police van on Hyde Road. By coincidence, it was exactly 145 years to the day before the recent murders of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes in Mottram.

Although the three men hanged for his murder are well remembered as the ‘Manchester Martyrs’, Brett’s story is much less well-known, so I thought I’d tell it. My research included a visit to Harpurhey Cemetery in the pouring rain to find his headstone, and a look through some of the old Manchester Guardian reports of the time.

You can read the article at the Guardian Northerner here.

Leeds MA International Journalism Course, Lecture 2

Today was the second of the five lectures I’m giving to MA students on the International Journalism course at the University of Leeds. It was on the theme of how more information is now freely available than ever before, and looked at ways in which journalists use this information for news stories and other purposes.

You can take a look at the presentation here: http://prezi.com/ko03xsk9mfco/ma-lecture-2-university-of-leeds/

Inevitably, it was a bit of a canter through lots of different but related issues, including filming of public meetings, open data, data-driven journalism, various Freedom of Information laws, and online whistleblowing of the kind made famous by Wikileaks. I fell back a few times on stories I’d done for Saddleworth News using various pieces of data, I’m not sure whether the students from around the world were particularly fascinated to know about road crashes on the A62, but I hope I got the general points across.