LETTER: Your use of first names is loaded

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Most newspapers make at least a token attempt to separate editorial opinion from straight reporting, but your habitual reference to the MP for Lewes as Maria smacks uncomfortably of partiality.

Odd enough in the coverage of a local fete, it appears tellingly loaded when applied to controversial political issues.

Not only did the article on fracking in last week’s edition have ‘Maria’ putting the Lib Dems in their place, but your report gave what clearly were her views on the subject (‘The UK has one of the best track records in the world’, etc) without bothering to put them in quotation marks.

This letter, I had better emphasise, is not about fracking but about journalistic standards.

Do you not encourage your reporters to distance themselves from the people they interview, whether politicians, saints or sinners? You only have to imagine one of our national newspapers discussing the views of ‘David’ and ‘Jeremy’ at PMQs to realise how weird your practice seems.

Or will you never stop saying Maria?

David Arscott

Bevernbridge Cottages

South Chailey