London Journalism Centre faces misleading marketing claim
New journalism school based in Hackney uses photographs and testimonials from competitor’s courses
A freelance investigative journalist who specialises in exposing questionable business practices has set up an organisation which is itself facing claims of unfair commercial practice.
Prior to setting up the organisation, which is not a registered company, Mr Elliott was contracted as a consultant by the Hackney Citizen newspaper to teach journalism courses.
Mr Elliott taught two such courses for the Hackney Citizen from February to mid-April.
It has since come to light that he used his engagement as a consultant by the Hackney Citizen to obtain photographs and testimonials from several students who were clients of the Hackney Citizen without the paper’s knowledge.
These have since been published on the London Journalism Centre website.
“I believe the London Journalism Centre is acting in a way that is misleading, unfair and unethical in using our clients’ testimonials on its website,” said Keith Magnum, director and editor of the Hackney Citizen.
After taking legal advice, the Hackney Citizen asked Mr Elliott to remove the testimonials and to agree to refrain from publishing or otherwise using them. However, he has not done so.
As far as the Hackney Citizen is aware, the London Journalism Centre has yet to run a single course.
The Hackney Citizen invited Mr Elliott to respond to the claims made about the London Journalism Centre, but he declined to comment.
According to the London Journalism Centre website, Mr Elliott has been teaching journalism and media law at the University of Brighton and the London School of Journalism since 2010.
The Hackney Citizen’s Introduction to Journalism course is now being taught by Nick Assinder, who has spent 30 years as a reporter including five years on regional newspapers, ten on nationals, and ten at BBC News Online.
He covered the London riots for Time magazine. He is also a visiting lecturer at City University, where he teaches on the MA Political Journalism course.