"Journalism of INTEREST"!? : Channel 4 Defends "Fearless" Request After Death Of Lee Halpin -

9:47AM, Mon Apr 8, 2013

Channel 4 Defends "Fearless" Request After Death Of Lee Halpin

By India Adams Location: Newcastle

Lee Halpin's death in Newcastle is being investigated. Facebook pic

Channel 4 has defended its decision to ask aspiring journalists to demonstrate their 'fearlessness' after the death of young filmmaker Lee Halpin.

In an online application form for the broadcaster's Investigative Journalism Programme 2013, applicants were asked to post a YouTube video describing a time in which they were "fearless in a pursuit for a story".

Lee Halpin, 26, resolved to spend a week sleeping rough to show the plight of the homeless, a plan he said had "caused a huge amount of trepidation" among his friends and family.

Three days after embarking on the project the former Heaton Manor Pupil was found dead in the boarded up Summerhill Hostel on Westgate Road, Newcastle, on April 3.

Northumbria Police have arrested two men, aged 26 and 30, in connection with Lee Halpin's death.

Both men arrested on suspicion of supplying class A drugs have been bailed pending further enquiries.

Detectives are treating his death as unexplained and have passed a file to the coroner.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: "We would never encourage any applicants to put themselves in danger.

 Lee Halpin addressing issues before his death while living "Houseless" in U.K.

"We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of this aspiring young journalist. Our thoughts are with his family."

Mr Halpin, of Heaton, Newcastle, recorded a video as part of his application process in which he said: "I am about to go and spend a week being homeless, I will sleep rough for a week, scrounge for my food.

"I will access the services that other people in the west end (of Newcastle) use.

"I will interact with as many homeless people as possible and immerse myself in that lifestyle as deeply as I can. This seems to be a fearless approach to a story.

"It has caused a huge amount of trepidation among my friends and family."

It is feared Mr Halpin may have succumbed to hypothermia.

A Met Office spokesman confirmed the lowest recorded temperature for Newcastle on the morning of April 3 was around -4.2C.

Friends have since paid tribute to the "thoroughly excellent bloke" and have spoken of his death as the "ultimate sacrifice" in raising awareness of homelessness.

The boarded up former hostel where Lee Halpin's body was found.
 In an obituary on the JesmondLocal website, freelance journalist Chris Stokel-Walker wrote that Mr Halpin's investigation "typified his drive and his desire as a journalist to find a story that could change the world and correct an injustice.

"If there was a way for words, pictures or video to make a change and do some good, Halpin would be first in line reporting it…born out of antsy fingers and a desire to help others."

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Officers have arrested two men aged 26 and 30 on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a class A controlled drug.

"They have been bailed pending further enquiries and a report into the death of the man is being prepared for the coroner."

Mr Halpin's family was too upset to comment on Saturday.

An inquest into Lee Halpin's death is expected to be opened on Tuesday.

 For more articles with Pics/Video's directly related with the article above, and a brief introduction into a man's forced journey into "Houselessness" please go here:

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