Publically funded body, the Consumer Council, paid £1,730 for an article on its outgoing chief executive, Eleanor Gill, to appear in Northern Ireland’s Agenda magazine, the BBC reports – raising questions of editorial independence and the use of taxpayers money are raised by this.
But, says Rick Hill, chairman of the Consumer Council:
“It’s the Consumer Council’s role to make the consumer voice heard and make it count.
“We choose various methods to communicate that voice, one being buying editorial space in professional, trade or business magazines.
“The Consumer Council negotiated an annual block fee with Agenda NI of £7,415 in April 2008 to submit five articles over a 12-month period.”