It goes from bad to worse for the Reading Chronicle: the Attorney General’s office is to move in while readers and advertisers continue to express their concerns at the paper’s ‘hooliganism’ coverage.
Following outrage that the Chronicle linked the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster with hooliganism, many readers – both in Reading and in Liverpool – have made complaints to the Attorney General’s office and the Press Complaints Commission.
The Office is due to start an inquiry into the disaster on March 31 and has issued a statement warning people to prejudicing the investigation through careless tweeting or articles published in newspapers.
The statement says: “This risk could arise by commentary which may prejudge issues that witnesses may give evidence about, or matters that the jury will need to consider in reaching their verdict. The inquests could also be prejudiced by publishing details of material (whatever its source) which may not form part of the evidence at the inquest.”
The Liverpool Echo has reported that the Attorney General’s Office is to investigate complaints that “the newspaper may have broken the Contempt of Court Act by running the article ahead of next month’s new inquests into the tragedy”.
The Echo’s report includes a statement from a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office which said: “A number of people have made us aware of this material. We will be responding to them soon.”
Elsewhere, anger at the Chronicle’s original report continues with local businesses and readers condemning the coverage, with many threatening to boycott the paper in future.
All respectable people should abandon the Reading Chronicle for it’s outrageous cheap and totally inaccurate portrayal of our national sport
— Martin and Pole (@MartinandPole) March 21, 2014
@rdgchronicle can’t even be bothered to spell own group name correctly and link is broken. Do you really care????
— Nicholas Est Agents (@CavershamAgent) March 21, 2014
— Reading FC News (@ReadingFC__News) March 20, 2014
— Jonathan Russell (@JonnyRussell100) March 22, 2014
— GJ Woodcock (@gazzboyurz) March 21, 2014
— Reading FC News (@ReadingFC__News) March 21, 2014
@rdgchronicle I will continue to pick up a free copy in future but will no longer read but leave by the toilet pan
— Matthew Coombs (@ManFriday1871) March 21, 2014