Council to decide future of Hackney Today
This article from The Hackney Citizen:
The Cabinet is to consider retention of its freesheet in defiance of criticism that it is simply ’propaganda on the rates’
How do people feel about the paper?
I have a slight soft spot for the paper as that’s where I found my flat and probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. Although they don’t deliver to that same flat so I haven’t read it in a long time.
If the cost really is neutral as they claim, then it seems stupid to scrap it. If people are concerned about bias there are other ways to deal with that like editorial independence or even proportional representation in column inches. I do think there should be a limit on the number of times they use the phrase ‘mayor of hackney Jules pipe’ though..
i love hackney today. it gets delivered here and i know i’m the only one who pounces on it and reads it. i must admit, though, it’s the what’s on section that i absolutely have to read. it’s a goldmine of community event information. i’d hate to see it go. if it went online i could live with that, though. wonder if they’ve considered that. or perhaps just do the broadsheet for what’s on.
I’m a bit indifferent to it but definitely don’t understand the DCLG argument that they should be scrapped and planning information etc carried through the local newspaper – as far as I’m aware, the Gazette has a readership of around 7,000 sales which is way less than the doors Hackney Today is posted through?
The councils say that local newspapers charge so much to publish mandatory council notices that it is cheaper to publisher their freesheet. It also helps to publicise council schemes, info for recycling etc. and a little masked propaganda, so maybe could be seen as good value for money.
On average, newspapers make 70% of their income from advertising, wheras the council freesheet is 100% tax-payer funded.
I find it difficult to imagine anything in-between these two models that would not be accused of state-sponsored undercutting of the press, which of course is essential to hold the council to account.
I believe Pickles suspects that canny councils are quoting inflated newspaper ad costs to justify their freesheets, with the aim of exploiting covert party propaganda. A good way to check this would be with an independent report into the costs of both systems. Until that happens and we have some real numbers, it’s difficult to draw useful conclusions, beyond the usual Tory vs Labour allegiance or broad state vs private ideologies.
I’m fairly happy with Hackney Today. Yes, it’s full of council spin, but the ‘what’s on’ listings do occasionally have events I wouldn’t hear about elsewhere, and it does seem to be a cost-effective vehicle for the statutory listings. (I find it far easier to skim through them in the paper rather than online)
It certainly seems more useful than Haringey People – which is published bimonthly so doesn’t carry the statutory stuff and is much more of a propaganda rag.
The only problem I’ve got with it is distribution. It’s all very well that they claim the £300k is good value for money but I only seem to get a copy every six weeks!”
Looks like Hackney Today is staying according to the Hackney Citizen
Now might be time to ring them up again and ask them to deliver it to me”
Hello all. I manage the distribution contract for Hackney Today, so thanks for all the positive feedback on the publication. Independent back checking shows that it is delivered to over 97% of homes in the borough, but we always want to improve that. Pls contact me if you’re not getting it. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 020 8356 2416, and let me know your address so that I can take it up with the distributors.
Looks like we can expect a Hackney Citizen/Stik piece about this decision in the next edition!”