Newspaper pulls article after embarrassingly printing Luke Steele’s latest nonsense
Updated: Oct 5
Just last week – on Wednesday 29 September to be precise – an article was published in the Chorley Guardian. It also appeared across several Lancashire papers including the Lancaster Guardian.
Most of you will have heard of Luke Steele, who has been involved with numerous campaign groups including Stop the Shoot, Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors and the Moorland Monitors, and who is known to regularly abuse and intimidate gamekeepers across the Yorkshire moors. Steele also has a criminal record, having been found guilty of repeat offences, including intimidation of persons and interference with a contractual relationship, which led to him ultimately being given a prison sentence of 18months.
Steele’s latest outfit is called ‘Wild Moors’, and the article in question was essentially a puff piece about Steele and ‘ Wild Moors’. In fact, it was almost identical to the press release that can be found here (Councils urged to back a ban on grouse moor burning – Wild Moors) on the Wild Moors website – right down to the photos. In the piece, Steele called for an end to controlled burning by game keepers and accused them of being linked to wild fires.
The image above came from Wild Moors and was supplied to the Lancaster Guardian
The article was up for about 24 hours and even included a link to his website – an entirely free plug. But the piece had zero balance whatsoever and as far as anyone could see, no attempt had been made to contact any shooting organisation about the claims laid down in print.
The Countryside Alliance contacted the group’s editor after it received complaints about the claims made by the convicted animal rights extremist Luke Steele and the appalling lack of balance. It asked whether the reporter had attempted to make any contact with any shooting groups. Originally the reporter did not respond but once the editor was contacted, the article was swiftly removed from the group’s various websites.
Perhaps this can be a lesson to journalists to check their source's credentials before publishing their views, or indeed to simply push the delete button whenever they see the name Luke Steele or Wild Moors in their inbox.