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Newspaper Backlash Over Weymouth Article

Weymouth Clock Seafront

12:53pm 23rd June 2014

A controversial newspaper story depicting Weymouth as an "uninspiring, wasteland" is drawing heavy criticism, from people in Dorset.

The Guardian published the story entitled "Sun, Sand and Inequality" in their Observer yesterday (Sunday 22nd June).

It features comments from 5 people, a charity owner, a deputy principal, and local author, and 2 young students - they all live in, or near the town.

They speak of high unemployment, soaring teenage pregnancies poor transport links, bad phone signal, painting a rather unimpressive and uninspiring picture of the seaside town.

The article sparked a backlash on social media with locals taking to Twitter and Facebook to voice their displeasure with some calling it "offensive" and "rubbish."

Scott Emerie said: "We have a strong community spirit... The reason we moved here 7 years ago... A great place to bring up our family.. Ignore the haters they can go somewhere else."

Nina Batoutofhell Blondeau commented: "Weymouth is an awesome place to live and we have the best beach fact! There are always good and bad points to every town."

We contacted the author of a newspaper article and she told Wessex FM, the article did feature positive content from the College and that although she tried, very few students had anything positive to say.

She wanted to remind people "Sun, Sand and Inequality" is an opinion piece and should be read as so.

"The piece wasn't about how nice or otherwise the town of Weymouth is or isn't - it’s about opportunity, deprivation and the future of young people."

Despite the social media backlash a number of people are supporting the article saying it highlights some serious issues facing Weymouth, like lack of affordable housing, jobs and opportunities for youngsters. Below are some comments from our Facebook page:

Mark Vickery: "Although Bridport and Weymouth are beautiful with a lovely life style we can't dismiss the fact wages are low with rental rates and 2nd home ownership very high. We should be addressing these valid issues. I think the guardian has started a healthy debate on these issues."

Hannah Ford commented: "Weymouth is beautiful. However job opportunities are limited and pay is basic minimum wage in most jobs. I don't think the issue is with Weymouth or any other seaside town being seasonal, more that the rates are too high for shops to stay open and business not paying staff a decent wage. Career choice is very limited."

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