The Daily Mail has defended itself against criticism that it mounted a “concerted attack” on the charity this summer, with one of its senior journalists insisting it was “an important story that needed to be told”.
Speaking at a panel discussion entitled “Are Charities Under Attack From the Media?” at the Media Trust Summit in London today, Mail assistant news editor Katherine Faulkner – who went undercover at the GoGen contact centre – claimed the investigation was sparked by a whistleblower, who had worked at the company. GoGen subsequently folded with the loss of 485 jobs.
Faulkner said the vast majority of the people she had spoken to about the coverage had recognised the investigation had served an important purpose for the sector by exposing malpractise.
However, she did concede that others had told her the investigation had destroyed trust in charities and would affect their ability to raise revenues.
“It’s time for charities to accept a bit of scrutiny,” she said. “It shouldn’t be seen as an attack but rather part of their responsibility to their donors and the public. You’ve got to take it on the chin.”
She urged all charity boss to listen in on agency fundraising calls, and the nthe would themselves hear members of the public who were really really distressed. “I can tell you that those calls are damaging the reputation of your charity every day,” she said.
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