Media transparency: News and Media Republic’s Lee Morgan bares all

Lee Morgan is a director of News and Media Republic Ltd, a not-for-profit media company, and editor of the People’s Republic of South Devon, D+CFilm, Arts+Culture and the Devon Week websites, and is publisher of the Arts+Culture magazine. Here is a full disclosure about him in a Jeff Jarvis stylee.

Media background: In Devon I’ve worked for Northcliffe in its regional editorial section and the Mid-Devon Advertiser, where I stayed for five years before leaving to become editor of Art in Devon for a year. Since then I’ve been a director of News and Media Republic and editor of the People’s Republic of South Devon, D+CFilm, Arts+Culture and the Devon Week websites, and is publisher of the Arts+Culture magazine. On the websites, I often write under the pen name of Cptn. My career began in copy writing and I worked in various publications until I was the chief sub on two weekly publications that dealt with local government issues, Surveyor and the Municipal Journal.

Religion: I describe myself as an agnostic. Despite my family being Catholic, I was not christened, and have attended Church of England schools. Half of my wife’s family are Jewish and the other half are Catholic. Religion is a great source of spiritual comfort, cultural identity and personal development and although I have no faith myself, I believe in the right for others to practice their own.

Politics: I am probably what would be described as a natural Labour voter, although I voted Liberal Democrat in the European and Devon County Council election in 2009. I was a member of the Labour Party during the 1990s and am a member of the NUJ. I am suspicious of any group which has the impression of becoming a self-involved political class and I doubt the need for political parties at a local level. I am a strong believer in the freedom of speech, and also the responsibility that brings – so I will avoid covering groups and individuals which seek to discriminate or use derogatory stereotypes.

Financial ties: I have no financial ties or constraints to my reporting.

Boards, committees: Through D+CFilm, I am part of the organising committee of the View From Here film festival in South Devon, along with officers from Teignbridge District Council, Coombeshead College, and arts collective Blind Ditch. The festival’s main sponsor is South West Screen. D+CFilm also sponsors the Two Short Nights film festival at the Exeter Phoenix.

This section is inspired by Jeff Jarvis (What Would Google Do?) from his Buzzmachine site and we’ve taken the questions from The New York Times freelancer questionnaire as of mid-2006:

1. Please list your other current employers, whether full time or part time

N/A

2. For what other employers have you worked in the last three years?

Art in Devon
The Mid-Devon Advertiser
2.dot.0 (corporate film company)

3. What sort of volunteer work do you do regularly, if any, and for whom? (Please include any public relations, advocacy or advisory board involvement.)

Newton Town Youth Football Club newsletter
Flyer for Transition Newton Abbot
View From Here film festival organising committee
Animated Exeter, potential appointee to the board
I have spoken on New Media to members of Devon Open Studios

4. Do you do any work paid or unpaid in politics or government? Have you done any lobbying of governmental bodies?

No

5. Do you have any financial investments or financial ties that may limit your ability to cover specific topics free of conflict, and if so, what are the topics?

No.

6. Although we don’t regulate the activities of spouses, partners or immediate family members of our contributors, do any of their professional or personal involvements or any of their financial investments or ties make certain topics inappropriate for you, and if so, what are the topics?

No. although there are times I have written about my wife’s writing career as a fiction novelist.

7. Have you accepted any free trips, junkets or press trips in the last two years? Have you accepted any substantial free merchandise or discounts from people we might cover?

In 2004 I went to the European Parliament in Strassburg for the Mid-Devon Advertiser, paid for by the EP Press Office. In 2007 I followed a group of Devon artists taking part in an exchange exhibition in Newcastle, which was funded by Devon Artsculture.

8. Has anything you’ve written later resulted in a published editor’s note or retraction for deliberate falsehood or plagiarism or become the subject of a lawsuit involving allegations of deliberate falsehood? (If yes, please include details about the publication and your role in the article or story. If a lawsuit, please describe the disposition of the case.)

No.

Have we covered everything? Email any questions you have to lee@newsandmediarepublic.org

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