Hyperlocal and Local Media
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Scooped by Damian Radcliffe
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Communities Department Writes To Seven Local Authorities Over Council Papers | newspapersoc.org.uk

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'Corrosive' town hall 'pravdas' cost £20 million a year | Press Gazette

'Corrosive' town hall 'pravdas' cost £20 million a year | Press Gazette | Hyperlocal and Local Media | Scoop.it
Press Gazette, Britain's Journalism Weekly: news, analysis and jobs
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Queen's Speech: Bill to Enforce Publicity Code against Council Newspapers | newspapersoc.org.uk

Damian Radcliffe's insight:

The Local Audit and Accountability Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech yesterday (Wednesday) is to “tackle town hall pravdas” and “deliver the Coalition Agreement pledge to impose tougher rules to protect the independent free press from unfair competition by town hall newspapers and propaganda.”


The Bill “would strengthen the legal status of the existing Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity, which some councils are currently ignoring. Healthy local democracy requires robust scrutiny by an independent local press.”

 

Commenting on the Bill, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “This government is reining in the quango state, saving taxpayers’ money and giving more power to local people. This bill extends the government’s localism agenda - ensuring robust scrutiny of council spending, strengthening the role of direct democracy and protecting an independent free press.”

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Newspaper Society urges Pickles to act sooner against councils

Newspaper Society urges Pickles to act sooner against councils | Hyperlocal and Local Media | Scoop.it

The communities secretary said on BBC Radio London that he was prepared to force councils to comply with his department's code of practice on local authority publicity.

 

That followed the publication in May of the communities department business plan in which legislation is promised to require councils to comply with its code. But it is not slated for action until May 2013 and, according to its timetable, the process will not conclude until April 2014.

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Eric Pickles Attacks ‘Stalinist’ Guidelines for Councils | newspapersoc.org.uk

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Ten Per Cent of Council Publications Breach Government's Publicity Code | newspapersoc.org.uk

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The Times Rails Against Council Newspapers | newspapersoc.org.uk

The Times has railed against “self promoting town hall-run newspapers”in a leader in last Friday’s edition.

 

The newspaper published a mocking leader written from the point of a newspaper published by the fictional Branswill Town Council which promised readers: “all the news that’s fit to print (providing it doesn’t show council officials in a bad light).”

 

On the same day, the paper also ran a news story by media editor Ben Webster with NS figures showing that at least 45 councils are continuing to defy the Government’s Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity which was revised last year to clampdown on aggressive council titles.

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