YOUNG VOICES

Journalist Emma Lowe Hounded Out Of Overheard At Cambridge Facebook Group By Angry Students

19/06/2013 16:24 BST | Updated 25/06/2013 15:01 BST

Angry students rounded on a journalist who was accused of masquerading as a fellow Cambridge chum to "fish" for information about an injured student.

Members of the Overheard at Cambridge group asked the Facebook page's admin to remove Emma Lowe, a journalist at news agency Masons, from the group due to her behaviour.

"Who's the guy with the glass stuck in his foot on the daily mail?! lol" Lowe seemingly innocently asked on Tuesday.

emma lowe daily mail

The offending "fishing" enquiry

After a brief conversation with several students, Lowe was outed as a journalist and also as a soon-to-be Daily Mail employee.

Lowe was then informed by page admin Zoah Hedges-Stocks, who has ironically worked for both the Mail and Masons, "As a journalist, it's still polite to tell people that you're asking for his identity for a story rather than just out of interest. Obviously not mandatory, but polite."

Things soon hotted up with Brendan Mahon stepping in: "I like how you put a cheeky little "lol" so as to make it seem like you're not a journalist.
"

Lowe, who takes up a position at the Daily Mail next month, retorted saying she thought the plight of the student who impaled his foot on a broken wine glass was "pretty funny", but was then accused by one student of "trying to obtain a private citizen's medical information for financial gain", to which she did not respond.

Admin Hedges-Stocks waded in again, saying: "As a journalist who has worked for the Mail (on Sunday) this entire situation/thread makes me want to cry.

"Emma, I would really suggest you learn not to get into such discussions about the nature of the job because otherwise you are going to have a very stressful career in which you don't get much writing done - and perhaps be less confrontational when talking to the public, who are, after all, not just sources but customers.

"I'm not sure your new employers will be very happy about you representing the company in such an unprofessional way on such a public forum."

Lowe hit back with "The daily Mail bloody love cambridge stories", and so on.

It seems the unwelcome outsider has now been removed from the Facebook group and peace has been restored.

A spokesman for Masons News Agency said: "The use of social media is a key part of investigating stories in journalism today.

"The identity and profile of our reporter was not hidden and clearly stated she is a journalist working for our company and users of the Overheard At Cambridge group were free to view her profile.

"There are no restrictions on the social networking site stating the group is private or for students only.

"The post regarding the young man in question following his photograph in the newspapers was an attempt to contact him to give him the opportunity to put his side of the story."

Lowe said she did not wish to add any further comment. The Daily Mail has been contacted for comment but have yet to reply.

CORRECTION NOTICE: We originally stated Lowe would be taking up a position as a trainee reporter at the Mail. We have since amended this as this will not be her position at the paper.