Telegraph View: Divide chopping through city

Oh how divisive the word '˜trees' has become in this leafy city of ours.

Thursday, 16th November 2017, 7:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:11 pm
Nancy Fielder

Never a day goes by without somebody mentioning the t-word – usually in some form of joke or other. I’ve yet to hear a conversation between more than two people which hasn’t made it agonisingly clear how divided this city stands.

It shouldn’t matter who is most vocal or who has the cleverest PR campaign, but it seems to have come down to that. Trees might be suffering but so are people dragged unintentionally in because of where they live or what they do. Most of all Sheffield’s reputation is paying dearly and the great divides which slice this city like a knife feel deeper than ever.

We walk a fine line as a local newspaper. I believe we walk it proudly, although in complete honesty it has felt precarious at times. We started writing about this contract long before anybody else, have given it more coverage, and will still be doing that when nobody else cares.

I believe journalism should inform, educate and entertain. I’m not finding much to smile about with regard to these divisions right now but I will never waver from trying to give all sides equal say. The more passionately you feel about this, the more you probably think I and the Telegraph are biased or not doing enough. It is the same with politics and, of course, football. If, as editor, you get equal complaints from both sides, you are doing something right. That’s where we stand with trees although all three sides want us to do more. But we will never display the same bias as the national papers, television and radio on this issue because there is more to this story.

The Telegraph team are Sheffielders, we understand how complex this city is and we are listening to all sides. Three sides? There are so many – dare I suggest a majority – of people who genuinely don’t care either way. They just want to the anger and bitterness to go away – and with it the coverage.