Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Redbridge Life to Die?

From Media Guardian, hat-tip: Darryl.

The government will confirm a crackdown on council-funded newspapers and magazines this week as it seeks to protect media groups which claim they cost them readers and advertising revenue.

Eric Pickles, the communities and local government secretary, will announce new guidelines ahead of the Conservative party conference this weekend that will effectively ban councils from using taxpayers’ money to produce free papers and magazines, MediaGuardian.co.uk can reveal.

Pickles promised at the start of the summer to ban what he called “weekly town hall Pravdas” in an Observer piece, but the details of tougher guidelines have now been agreed following consultation with the newspaper industry.

Under the new rules, it is understood councils will only be allowed to publish free titles four times a year. They will also have to remove any content which appears to praise the council or endorse the quality of its local services, including quotes from local residents.

And after it was so eloquently defended by councillors at last weeks Area Committee 3 meeting.


  1. There were strong words in favour I agree and I must assume this was reflecting the opinions of ratepayers in the 'my neighbourhood' of the councillors who spoke but, I have still to find an ordinary person in 'my neighourhood' who appreciates the publication!
    By the way, I did not get a copy this month!
    Not that I want one, nor that I will check if my road was off the list or if the distribution was unsatisfactory this month!

  2. Perhaps Eric could enhance his reputation even more by setting clear rules for the censorship of local authority forum sites. The level of such activity by Redbridge would have been the envy of the Stasi and the KGB.

  3. Talking of quotes from local residents in council sponsored publications, I was shocked to read in the rediforum that, trying to drum up responses to the conversation, they visited a knitting club in Hainault (nothing wrong with knitting of course!). That reminds me of these charity people who approach you on the street and put you in the 'difficult for some' situation of having to say no.