Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Private Eye: Fulham Chronicle not "proper paper"

Private Eye has reached the harsh but inevitable judgement on the Fulham Chronicle following their transformation from independent newspaper to propaganda machine willing to take the politicians' shilling.

Private Eye, headed by anti corruption campaigner Ian Hislop who recently forced BBC hack Andrew Marr to reveal his super-injunction gagging the press, describes how the Fulham Chronicle will be "opening it's columns" to be written by "council press officers" in return for getting £75,000 a year of our tax cash. This is in addition, of course, to supporting local prostitution by taking advertising cash from pimps and brothels despite pleas from the Metropolitan Police not to do so.

The Eye poses a question - now that they are reliant on producing Council political propaganda what will the Chronicle do if it gets a story that challenges the spin doctors? I can answer that - in their recent report on the locally contentious White City redevelopment plans on April 14th not a single question about the plans was raised - only that "ambitious plans" had been "unveiled". In fact, there are real questions about the extent of social housing that will or will not be created and the extent to which local people have been consulted with local politicians on both sides trading blows on the issue, which is why I wrote it up as a "row". You would not have known anything about the non-Council version of the events from reading the Fulham Chronicle.


  1. This situation is asking to be tested in a court of law. I wonder who will take up the challenge?

  2. I suggest that Chris sets up a rival news source, running his own "Proper Papers not Propaganda" campaign...

  3. There is a consultation going on about the WCOA and drop in sessions have been held, plus a more detailed presentation for local representatives, but few attended on 17th May. Further consultation is to be held in the autumn, I gather.

  4. The Shepherd's Bush Blog "proper papers not propaganda" campaign. Now that's got a ring to it...!!

  5. I notice the normally loquacious hack from the Chronicle - that's the one who was so assertively stating his paper's independence when the deal was first announced - is extremely quiet on this issue.

    It'd be interesting to hear why.

  6. Ah, Private Eye has one you seem to have missed:

    ** Rotten Boroughs (Online): Hammersmith & Fulham **

    Councillor who attacked “yobbery” calls a Labour colleague a “twat” and “moron” in meeting.

  7. A 'proper' news service, covering local politics and events to a reasonable depth, costs money. People don't subscribe to local papers anymore, so all that leaves are freesheets, run on a shoe string and totally dependent on estate agents.

    The local council wish to publicise certain things they do. In addition, they have a certain legitimate need to advertise (e.g. jobs, procurement contracts etc.). This makes them probably the biggest and best customer any local newspaper is going to get. Conflict of interest? For sure! And not just in H & F.

    How to get back to the 'golden age' of local news reporting? No obvious way I can see.