Last night while the country seemingly went insane with looting and rioting in London, Nottingham, Liverpool, further afield and closer to home in Birmingham, the WV11Â Facebook page andÂ Twitter feed came alive with rumours that there was rioting and looting at Bentley Bridge, Wednesfield and further afield in Wolverhampton.
We were very pleased to report this was NOT true.
There was no trouble at Bentley Bridge and while there have been some reports of “minor damage” in the city centre this morning â€“ there is nothing obviousÂ that IÂ couldÂ see on my way to work. I am shattered we spent a large part of last night relaying police updates to our Facebook and Twitter followers Â and talking online toÂ WednesfieldÂ residents who could see that there was no trouble going on on their doorsteps.
At times it seemed like an uphill battle when twitter searches determined there were so many people convinced the main retail park in our area was burning to the ground – even though if they’d looked out of their windows a distinct lack of smoke in the sky could have waylaid that particular rumour, but we stuck at it and eventually we stemmed the tide and finally after much effort we got the point across. The people spreading misinformation started repeating our message that there was nothing going on, directing people to the official police streams – and in some cases saying they “Feel awful and a right scare monger” when they realised they were wrong. Some residents were also going out to prove all was well and posting photos to our wall.
So imagine my utter frustration when the “main stream media” of our area The Wolf radio station, who were distinctly absent last night when we trying to allay peoples fears, posted this on there facebook page this morning trying to make something out of nothing:
James and I tried our best to stem this too and then followed it up with this news piece – and it prompted Â the subsequent response on facebook:
I feel they didn’t quite go as far as lying but mostÂ definitelyÂ reported in such a way that anyone who wasn’t aware of the truth of the situation would have probably questioned what was going on and then they chose to ignore our calls for openess and tried and get a resident to talk to them on the phone because they said they were scared!
Personally I think it wasÂ incrediblyÂ irresponsible of their radio station to report in this way.There were no problems of note in Wolverhampton last night andÂ definitelyÂ NONE at Bentley, and I can testify to this having passed by the retail park and walked through the city this morning. Keeping people afraid and giving them a platform, inviting them to fuel the rumour mill will Â create an atmosphere of fear that could become a breeding ground for a situation to arise Â similar to those we saw in Birmingham last night – Â The media should have aÂ responsibilityÂ to report facts not conjecture and local media more so as they are much more accessible to the local people than the national news outlets .
Yes there were reports of looting and rioting in Wednesfield,Â particularlyÂ on Bentley Bridge last night BUT they were false and The Wolf should have takenÂ responsibilityÂ in this instance and reported as such!