Tag Archives: press officer

Budget details held back by Treasury press office

Finance journalist Chris Wheal reports that the Treasury press office will not provide him with figures showing how much worse off families will be as a result of the budget.

Wheal recorded a conversation with a press officer from the Treasury (and then uploaded this to Audioboo) when he called back to double check that the figures, which apply to a graph within the budget report, would not be released to him.

In the conversation Wheal is told the figures are available, but will not be published for two weeks.

Let’s be clear on this: The Treasury knows it must release the figures under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. But it knows that a FOI request allows it 20 working days to respond, so it is delaying by less than that. It is using a freedom of information loophole to delay giving taxpayers information it could – and should – publish instantly.

The Treasury press officer has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Trials of a redundant journalist: I’m re-employed

Before we get to the good news – you’ll have to scroll right down to find it – a catch-up from the last few days…

DAY 12: Responding to PR criticism
Someone has made an angry comment on this series.

‘Emma’, who I assume is a press officer, said that she was annoyed at sacked journalists who go for PR jobs.

‘Stop coming over here and taking our jobs!’ she says.

I admit that I have no experience in PR beyond the media relations aspect of it. And to be fair, I’ve mainly been applying for entry-level PR jobs, because I admit I don’t know everything it takes to be a PR person.

But to imply that journalists are stealing PR jobs – well.

There may be the pitching, administrative, client reporting and account management aspects of the job that I know little about, but one of the skills that good journalists have, other than writing, is the ability to learn and adapt to whatever publication they work for, and I don’t see how this wouldn’t help in a PR job.

Also, if journalists are being recruited into PR, it’s because the employer thinks they are capable of doing the job, surely?

What’s next – British jobs for British people?!

DAY 13: Two interviews and I’m trying not to tempt fate
But I have a couple of reasons to be optimistic for the coming week.

I have an interview for a non-journalism job next week. I’ve learnt my lesson and I think I’ve managed to convince myself that I really want that job as a new career. I do, really. I’ve always wanted to do it and journalism was just an experiment and now I’m ready to use the skills I’ve learnt to their full in this new life career.

Convinced? No, me neither. But I promise I’ll try harder at the interview itself.

I also put a message on a trade website to alert people to my redundancy, and almost immediately a person I interviewed exactly one time for a feature got in touch saying that he thought I sounded like a nice person and wanted to help me out. I’ve never even met him, and it continues to amaze me how people have helped and lifted my spirits.It’s still in its early stages, but that bit of contact could well develop into a nice bit of freelance work.

But the thing I’m most hopeful about is an interview for a journalism job coming up next week. It’s a complete surprise how it’s come up and I don’t want to say too much for fear of jinxing it, but wish me luck everybody!

DAY 15: The end?
Exciting news from the redundant journo, who it turns out has the best possible excuse for failing to file her column the last couple of days.

DAY 16 – I have been aching to write this post.
I have a job – and I’m staying in journalism. I want to maintain my anonymity, so I can’t reveal where it is. All I can really say is that how I got the job seems to be pure luck.

I’m particularly indebted to two very good friends in particular. But what it boiled down to was not what I know, but who I know.

I know that’s a frustrating result, that after all the many applications and CVs I’ve done, this cliche is the one that applies. But if it’s any consolation, I still had to work hard to prove myself during the interview.

Probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned in these past few weeks of redundancy is the importance of networking. I’m not great at it, I don’t particularly enjoy it, but it has been crucial in, if not getting me a job immediately, at least giving me hope – in a way that simply sending a CV did not.

Thank you for everyone who’s commented and left messages of support over the last few days. And to all those trying to get a job, it’s really hard, the job market is desperate and some days you just want to cry with misery (I was there last week) – but you too will eventually get your break.

A blog series which probably not run again as The FleetStreetBlues Redundant Journalist has found a job. The Trials of a Redundant Journalist series in its entirety, here. She will continue to contribute to FleetStreetBlues.

Audio: Regional newspapers compete with football clubs online

lep image

Leading English football clubs are in competition as web publishers with local and regional newspapers.

Footballing giants, like Manchester United or Liverpool Football Club, have huge online and TV publishing arms which they use as revenue streams and to control the flow of news coming from the club.

But it’s not just the big clubs that have got in on the act.

Journalism.co.uk spoke to William Watt, digital sports reporter with the Lancashire Evening Post, about how he sees the changing landscape of online news now that smaller football clubs, like his local club Preston North End, are publishing their own stories on the web.


For the club hitting a good balance with the local media is the key.

“It’s a tricky job trying to be both press officer and web publisher,” Matt Morris, Preston North End’s media manager, told Journalism.co.uk.

“It throws up a conflict of interest at times as there are elements of competition between the club and the press.”

While there is an onus to feed good stories to the clubs website, he added, the club still needed to be promoted locally as it was in competition with several other local clubs for revenue, that necessitated having a good working relationship with the media and striking a balance between the needs of the club as an online publisher and feeding the local media.