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JC blasted over story

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-06-02

Richard Desmond

Richard Desmond

The Jewish Chronicle has been slammed for its reporting on the appointment of media mogul Richard Desmond to president of children's and family welfare charity Norwood.

In a front page story and editorial, the Jewish Chronicle attacked the decision of Norwood to have Desmond as its next president succeeding automobile industry magnate Sir Trevor Chinn. Supporters feel that the Jewish Chronicle was attempting to create its own controversy in an attempt to raise its own profile by undermining Desmond.

Desmond owns the Daily and Sunday Express, OK and Now magazine as well as adult entertainment channel Television X and has been a long-term supporter of Norwood as well as other Jewish and non-Jewish charities.

The attack came just days after new editor David Rowan joined the paper.

It's editorial stated: "As the community’s leading newspaper, we do have to raise questions about what sort of people we believe we should be honouring as our leaders. And we have serious reservations about the messages that a charity may be giving out by seeming to ignore the substantive content of some of Mr Desmond’s pay- and subscription-TV operations."

In a series of letters published in the Jewish Chronicle, readers including paranormal celebrity Uri  Geller as well as Sir Trevor Chinn raised concern over the Jewish Chronicle’s reporting.

"Your comments on Richard Desmond in your news columns are distorted and unfair. The balance is clearly against him, favouring the negative comments against the positive ones, in quantity, space and prominence," said Sir Trevor.

Geller added: "The only legitimate reasons I can see for objecting to Richard Desmond are envy, spite and pettiness."

Business veteran Lord Young commented: "Whether or not all his businesses (which include the Daily Express) are to the taste of all the members of our community is neither here nor there, for they are all legal and legitimate. I, for one, am very happy that someone with his energy and drive will lead Norwood over the coming years."