“Get Digging” – advice from maverick crime reporter

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By Kristan Bamforth

A journalist who found himself living in the suburbs of Glasgow opposite “murderers, drug dealers and prostitutes” has told Leeds Trinity’s journalism students how he began reporting the city’s dangerous criminal underworld.

James Cruickshank is editor of ‘The Digger’, the only magazine of its type, which specialises in stories about gangsters, crime and the shady underworld of just one city – Glasgow.

He asked the audience at the university’s Journalism Week “Why does no one care about crime reporting anymore?”

After declaring himself “broke” in 2004, he founded ‘The Digger’ and started reporting local crimes and “getting information about stories national newspapers weren’t bothered about.”

He visited court on several occasions to find stories, and realised the news potential of Glasgow’s drug, sex and crime scene wasn’t being exploited.

James blamed young journalists for “not wanting to get their hands dirty”, and suggested that the financial risks of getting it wrong may be one reason why court reporting is becoming less popular.

He stressed the importance of being very careful.

“If you write about somebody and you defame their reputation they can take you to the cleaners.”

The magazine, described as “The Hello magazine of the ne’er do wells of Glasgow” is very popular in the city, and turned over around £400,000 last year.




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