Friday, 1 October 2010

Pickles gives 'Town Hall Pravdas' another bashing

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has had another go at council newspapers on the Guardian's Comment is Free today.

Among his claims are: "Local newspapers have been put under increasing pressure in recent years by the proliferation of town-hall Pravdas. These glossy magazines have been designed for the sole purpose of telling people how great the council is. And they are competing with independent newspapers for readers and advertising space: undermining local newspapers already under threat from the internet and the 24-hour news cycle.

"This has serious consequences for local democracy. Local journalists have a proud tradition of holding councillors to account, questioning unpopular decisions and exposing unsavoury behaviour. These propaganda sheets are no substitute for a free and independent press."

One posting on CiF opposes Pickles. JuanP says: "Our commercially produced local newspaper tells you about rapes and murders - the Town Hall Pravda tell us about youth football teams - pensioners keep fit etc and make you feel good about the place you live in. I prefer the Pravda!!!!!"

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