Friday, July 02, 2010

Eric Pickles - some headway?

The government wants to tighten the rules on council-run freesheets.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has wasted no time in doing what his predecessor dithered about: insisting the government will tighten the rules on the growing number, and often quite daft, propaganda sheets masquerading as proper newspapers.

He hit out at what he called "town hall Pravdas" passing themselves off as independent journalism.

It comes as an endorsement to the Newspaper Society’s campaign to tighten the council publicity code, and leave local news, and advertising, where it belongs – in the hands of local papers. The LGA claims most council papers are distributed a few times a year and are not significant competitors for ad revenue, which is debatable to say the least.

But what is plainly barking is their claim that "only council publications can keep residents fully informed about the services on offer where they live".

If they can’t even get that right, what hope have they got of telling us anything we need to know.

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