Andrew Gilligan has highlighted the extent to which council-run propaganda newspapers are replacing the independent free press in London.
Writing in last night’s Evening Standard Gilligan revealed:
“Across London, official council newspapers now employ around 120 people. When council press officers, who actually write much of the content of most papers, are included, the figure rises to 360.
“The total number of editorial staff on independent local newspapers in London, much-diminished after a series of cuts, is around 350. The total cost to the public purse of councils getting into the publishing business? Around £10 million a year in London alone.”
While the new council newspapers, like H & F and East End Life, look like real newspapers and carry a lot of real news – they are anything but independent, Gilligan reports. He notes that crime stories are nearly all about victories by the local police, and he says that council stories inevitably focus on positive news.