It takes judgement and experience to ensure an important issue remains ‘alive’ in public discourse.
Stories can disappear from view unless newsrooms and journalists champion them.
Research into the Lakanal House fire was published in the succinct, high impact forum of the BBC (on BBC TV NEWS, Radio and Online).
In the immediate aftermath of the fire, the focus was on knowing what happened and the published stories reflected that (see timeline).
The story then moved into a quiet phase whilst the public authorities pursued their investigations. Keeping the story in the public domain relied on leaks of information and pursuing interviews with the bereaved families, building trusting relationships with them to facilitate this.
During the public inquest, knowledge gained from the research offered insight and judgement in an area where little other broadcast journalistic expertise existed.