"MPs urge probe into councils' freesheets
Freesheets published by local councils are threatening the precarious existence of regional newspapers, a committee of MPs says publications such as Hammersmith and Fulham borough council's H&F News "pose as, and compete with, local commercial newspapers and are misleading to the public", according to a report by the cross-
"While it is important that local authorities communicate with their citizens, it is unacceptable that councils can set up publications in direct competition to local newspapers and that act as a vehicle for political propaganda," said John Whittingdale, the conservative MP chairing the committee.
Should the Office of Fair Trading respond to the call, this would be a significant victory for newspaper groups, who have long complained council-
Local newspapers are struggling in the face of a severe cyclical downturn and a shift of readership and advertising to the internet. Last year about 60 regional papers closed in the UK, while advertising revenues at the UK's three largest regional newspaper publishers fell between 26 and 30 per cent.
Claire Enders, chief executive of Enders Analysis, a media consultancy, warned that up to half of the UK's 1,300 regional titles could close within five years.
The MPs also recommend the government re-
A number of newspaper groups have complained about Google News, which displays headlines and digest versions of news stories for free. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG -
"Because of the competition law, because of collusion, we as publishers cannot sit down ... in a room together and talk about the issue of aggregators," said Carolyn McCall, outgoing chief executive of Guardian Media Group."
The Council Pravda
This excellent letter appeared some time ago in our excellent Stockport Express. Spot on!
"Blatant LibDem propaganda
A couple of years ago I wrote to Dave Goddard, the leader of Stockport Council, and suggested that the Stockport Review was nothing more than a vehicle to promote his party and the frequency of which had no practical logic.
His reply was a quite condescennding, one along the lines of it's always nice to hear from local residents. I have always thought that producing this paper six times a year is way over the top -
During 2010 there were 112 pages in the six issues, including a few supplements, and contained within -
same story and pictures about getting active (and needless to say the almost obligatory picture of John Smith) as did the January to February issue.
But worst of all is the cost -
Below are just a handful of those photos of LibDem Councillors:-
Dear Mrs Oliver,
I am writing in response to your request for information below (ref 1922).
The total budget allocated is £147,538.
If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request you are entitled to ask for an internal review. Any internal review will be carried out by a senior member of staff who was not involved with your original request. To ask for an internal review, contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of any internal review, you are entitled to complain to the Information Commissioner. To do so, contact:
Information Commissioner’s Office
01625 545 745
Data Protection & Freedom of Information Officer
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
From: Sheila Oliver [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 09 June 2009 22:09
To: FOI Officer
Cc: Cllr Mark Weldon; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Cost of Civic Review
Dear FoI Officer
Weldon mentioned to me last night the massive budget savings the Council must make. What is the annual cost of the Civic Review?