Thursday 3 February 2011

Council puts future of East End Life under review

The future of Tower Hamlets Council's newspaper East End Life is under review - which could lead it to being axed or published less frequently.

East End Life is one of the council publications targeted by regional newspaper publishers as unfair competition for the local press.

The review has been ordered by Mayor Lutfur Rahman. At January’s cabinet meeting he called on council officers to examine cost-effective ways of getting news about council services into the community.

A post on the Tower Hamlet's website asking for comments on the future of the publication says: "Everyone with an interest in East End Life is asked to give their views on the options, which include abolition and reducing frequency of publication."

Mayor Rahman said: “East End Life helps the council fulfil its duty to communicate with residents and many rely on it for information on lettings. But in these tough times we need to be sure all our services are providing value for money.

“I promise to scrutinise all options carefully and, in consultation with councillors, the public and other stakeholders ensure an outcome that makes the necessary savings but still meets the requirement to keep residents up to date with what the council is doing.”

Tower Hamlets says: "The paper raises more than £1million a year in advertising revenue, but that still leaves about £300,000 to find from other sources. Councils are legally bound to publish some statutory notices in a newspaper."

Via the Newspaper Society

  • For a view from East End Life journalists on the campaign against council newspapers by regional publishers, see this letter published in the Journalist, in response to an article I wrote for the magazine.

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