Tag Archives: council newspapers

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On the Editors’ Blog

Evening Standard: Andrew Gilligan on council ‘propaganda’ newspapers

Some interesting figures to be pulled out of Andrew Gilligan’s tirade against council-run newspapers in the UK:

  • In London more writers are currently employed by local authority titles than by the local independent press (which has around 350 editorial staff).
  • According to Gilligan, weekly council paper, Greenwich Time, has a total annual gross cost of £708,000 – £532,000 of which is supported by public money.
  • East End Life – the council freesheet for Tower Hamlets – has almost 50 per cent more staff than its independent rival, the East London Advertiser, and almost double the pages.
  • Public sector organisations pay a total of £980,000 to advertise in East End Life a year, according to Standard research.

The comments from readers are also worth a read with both the impact of dwindling resources on independent newspapers’ ability to cover local news and the ‘brain drain’ of journalists to local authority titles touched upon.

Would be great if the Standard could release the figures from it’s research in full…

Full story at this link…

HoldtheFrontPage: New row over UK council newspapers

“A fresh political row is brewing over council newspapers after a Tory-run council in Essex voted to press ahead with plans to spend £100,000 launching its own publication,” reports HoldTheFrontPage.co.uk.

Full story at this link…

FleetStreetBlues: A letter in defence of council-run newspapers

FleetStreetBlues has reproduced this letter in defence of council-run newspapers from the latest issue of the NUJ Journalist magazine: not yet online.

“Helen Watson, Claire Rudd and 14 other NUJ members who write for Tower Hamlets Council’s weekly newspaper East End Life, write:

“We ‘jumped ship’ because the papers we worked on did not pay ‘grown-up’ wages – try paying a mortgage and bringing up kids on less than £20,000 a year for a 45-hour week, especially in London. It might be feasible if you’ve just left uni or have benefactors who can help you pay the rent while you struggle through on poverty wages. But those options are not open to most.””

Full post at this link…