www.clivepower.com




Correspondance between myself and the Wanstead & Woodford Guardian regarding council newspapers and proposals to restrict them.



From: Clive Power
14 September 2010 14:42
Subject: Letter to the Editor, Wanstead & Woodford Guardian

 

Dear Sir/Mdam,

I read on page 4 of LB Redbridge's September edition of 'Redbridge Life', that in “2009/2010 residential burglary (was) up 224 offences” but then I read, on page 7, that “residential burglary cut by 15%.”!

Elsewhere in the council's publication, I read on the front page about an “impressive set of 'A' Level” results, but with a key percentage figure missing. This number was given elsewhere in the article about GCSEs.

Instead we are simply told that “more than three quarters” of students were awarded A* to C grades. That covers a lot of territory and we are also not told, in this statement about the “impressive” results, that this phrase would also be true about the previous year's results as well.

Long may there be a free and independent media thrive and with a mission to tell us what is really happening.

Clive Power

www.clive power.com


(printed in Wanstead & Woodford Guardian, 23 September 2010)


 


 From: James Ranger

30 September 2010 17:07

Good afternoon Clive

My editor Dominic Yeatman passed over your email from earlier this month. From your strong views about Redbridge Life, I wondered if I might have a chat with you about the news that they could be significantly cut back under the government's spending review.

 Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said that they could be cut back to as few as four issues a year and that they would face tighter controls on how they promote themselves.

 It would be nice to chat to you so if you could give me a call at some point that would be great. I can be reached on either of my numbers below.

 Cheers

James

 James Ranger
Reporter
Wanstead and Woodford Guardian




From: Clive Power

30 September 2010 22:36


Dear James,

Thanks for your email.

I was aware of Pickles' proposals (I have tweeted about it – http://twitter.com/clivepower). I have mixed views about the news.

You are welcome to quote me if you wish (from my response below) but only if you reflect my view that, on balance, I think the proposal is a bad idea. I can be telephoned on X.

Response:

On balance, I think restricting council newspapers is wrong - local democracy means that councils should decide on having a newspaper or not.

If council newspapers end, many local newspaper monopolies will be re-established. But it is important to have a local press, independent of councils.

Local authorities haven't helped themselves with their publicity rags that claim councils are near perfect, or have endless photos or write-ups about politicians up until near when they're due for re-election.

But I hope the local press is trenchant in its questioning of public bodies and resists any temptation to just reproduce the guff found in council press releases; it's that same content that makes so many council newspapers such a poor read.

Clive Power



http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/8426251.REDBRIDGE__Pressure_grows_on_council_over_Redbridge_Life/ 1 October 14:00

REDBRIDGE: Pressure grows on council over Redbridge Life

...I can get my local services from.

Clive Power, of Aldersbrook Road, said: “Local authorities haven't helped themselves with their publicity rags that claim councils are near perfect, or have endless photos or write-ups about politicians up until near when they're due for re-election.

“But I hope the local press is trenchant in its questioning of public bodies and resists any temptation to just reproduce the guff found in council press releases; it's that same content that makes so many council newspapers such a poor read.”.

A Redbridge Council spokeswoman said: “...



From: Clive Power

1 October 2010 15:15

James,

I have just seem the article on line in which you quote me. You will see from my earlier email that I wrote that you can quote if you "reflect my view that, on balance, I think the proposal is a bad idea."

This hasn't happened at all. You would surmise from the selective quotation that I support this proposal.

I would be interested to hear what you propose to do to accurately reflect the balance of what I said.

Kind regards,

Clive Power



now added to W&WG website by 1 October 18:00

On balance, I think restricting council newspapers is wrong - local democracy means that councils should decide on having a newspaper or not.