Tuesday 18 August 2009

Another council newspaper faces closure

The Birmingham Post is reporting that Birmingham City Council’s fortnightly Forward newspaper could be the latest council publication to be axed as pressure on public spending grows.
Forward’s last edition appeared in June and the Post says city bosses will next month decide whether to make the suspension permanent or reduce publication and distribution.
Almost 400,000 editions of the free paper, formerly called The Voice, were delivered to homes, community centres and libraries every fortnight at a total cost of about £600,000 a year.
The Post adds: "Council publications were initially set up as a vehicle for council job vacancy and public notice announcements, and thought much cheaper than paying to advertise in commercial newspapers. But critics have slammed them as propaganda pamphlets allowing the council leaders to tell citizens how great they are."
It says that last year seven photographs of the council’s Tory leader Mike Whitby appeared on the first eight pages in one edition of Forward, prompting complaints from the Labour opposition, whose own budget article had been rejected from the publication.
Council papers have recently been scrapped in Doncaster, Cornwall and Lancashire.
Via HoldtheFrontPage

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