Tuesday, 6 September 2016

A* in Journalistic Integrity

After being publicly shamed during results week for not publishing any photos or articles about Hampstead students, the Camden New Journal last Thursday assembled a GCSE report featuring a whole two photos from Hampstead school.

Despite initially reporting on the worshipful Camden School for Girls on page 3, the other schools in the borough were pushed to page 17, and only after another six paragraphs about - you guessed it - Camden School for Girls. Hampstead, however, came second to last of the schools, and were permitted an even-handed single paragraph of reporting. And even then, it was so lazily done they left in a typo: "[redacted name] was left owing £5 to his friend [redacted name] £5".

The Ham & High seemingly bit the Hampstead press release bullet, reporting on their website "a rise in every area of its results," although it only specified one rise, a "5 percent rise" in the E-BACC results, rather suggesting it may have been the largest of rises. Given last year results were down still from the heady heights of 63%, the school has work to do yet to drag the 5 G*-U bracket back to the legendary '5-year-trend' standard.

In Thursday's print copy, however, the results were there for all to see. Our suspicions were confirmed; the number of A*-As rose by just over 3% to 20.46%, and the heralded 5A*-Cs rose by even less, 2% up from last year's 54%. Despite this, the school featured on the penultimate page of the results special section (page 22) in a small bit matching the online content, and just to rub in the local bias, the paper gave away two pages (including the front page cover story) to a piece about the results of a former youth MP and student of - I don't believe it - Camden School for Girls.

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