Archive for the 'Sky News' Category

09
Mar
09

gazette watch

Bloggers will have noticed that the local snooze paper has become the official voice of the borough’s Labour run council and that it’s editor Mr Dumpy, aka Papa John Szymanski has handed over editorial control to his paymaster council leader Iain Malcolm.

This has been a gradual process and at first Papa John paid lip service to his profession by at least appearing to be reporting things from a neutral perspective and even appeared to occasionally challenge the shit churned out by the Minister of Propaganda, Linda Fothergill, aka the council’s Head of Communications.

Miss Piggy, aka councillor Iain Malcolm, quickly realised how easy it was to manipulate Mr Dumpy – all he had to do was make him feel loved, invite him to council functions and make sure the fat bastard could stuff his face with free sausagee rolls – and the Gazette was his to control.

But over the last month Mr Monkey has noticed that Papa John Szymanski appears to have handed over editorial control to the local Labour party and they in turn seem to publish whatever they want with little or no involvement from the paper’s journalists, especially the so called council reporter Paul Myles Kelly.

Mr Monkey thought he’d test this theory by comparing the council’s latest press release about a possible reduction in council rents with Paul Myles Kelly’s article. CLICK HERE.

Housing Minister set to give away £175 million but Ed Malcolm wants the credit'

Housing Minister set to give away £175 million but Ed Malcolm wants the credit'

This chimp was astounded by the results and proves beyond doubt that Papa John Szymanski is nothing more than Miss Piggy’s plaything and that the Gazette is just another propaganda tool for the local Labour run council.

Judge for yourself – below is the press release issued by the council

COUNCIL RECONSIDERS RENTS FOLLOWING GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT

Council tenants in South Tyneside could be set for a reduction in next year’s rent increase after the Government announced a new package of financial support for local authorities.

South Tyneside Council has already agreed a 6.84 per cent rise in rents for 2009/10, in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring guidelines.

But the Council is now reconsidering that figure following today’s Government decision to slash its average guideline rent increase for 2009/10 from 6.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent.

The Government is providing up to £175 million to local authorities in England in an effort to encourage councils to reduce the amount tenants would have to pay for the coming year.

The Council’s Lead Member Resources, Councillor Ed Malcolm, said: “This is welcome news from the Government. Both the Council and the Board of South Tyneside Homes wrote to the Government at the turn of the year to express our concerns that their average guideline rent increase was above what most people could afford at this difficult time, and we have been pressing the Government to rethink its position. We are delighted that the Government has listened to our calls, and responded.

“We are keen to provide real help now for Council tenants. I have instructed officers to assess the revised position following this afternoon’s announcement with a view to making recommendations that will ensure that Council tenants can benefit. We are aware that tenants have already received letters outlining next year’s rent increase, and will be contacting them again as soon as we are in a position to do so.”

The Council’s existing rent increase of 6.84 per cent was agreed in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring policy. This policy aims to bring the amount council tenants pay into line with people living in properties managed by other registered social landlords, such as housing associations.

As Council rents in South Tyneside are historically low, rent increases are often slightly higher than the Government’s guideline in order to close the gap with rents charged by other landlords.

Any change to the increase in rents for 2009/10 would have to be agreed by full Council.

Now compare this to the article below that appeared in the The Labour Gazetteer, formerly known as the Shields Gazette. The differences between the 2 articles have been highlighted in red and amount to a change of title, the addition of 8 words and the removal of 2 others.

TENANTS IN LINE FOR RENT CUTS

COUNCIL house tenants in South Tyneside could be set for a major reduction in next year’s rent increase after the Government announced a new package of financial support for local authorities.

South Tyneside Council had already agreed a 6.84 per cent rise in rents for 2009/10, in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring guidelines.

But the council is now reconsidering that figure after today’s Government decision to slash its average guideline rent increase for 2009/10 from 6.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent.

The Government is providing up to £175m to local authorities in England in an effort to encourage councils to reduce the amount tenants would have to pay for the coming year.

The council’s lead member for resources, Coun Ed Malcolm, said: “This is welcome news from the Government.

“Both the council and the board of South Tyneside Homes wrote to the Government at the turn of the year to express our concerns that their average guideline rent increase was above what most people could afford at this difficult time.

“We have been pressing the Government to rethink its position, and we are delighted the Government has listened to our calls, and responded.

“We are keen to provide real help now for council tenants.

“I have instructed officers to assess the revised position after this announcement, with a view to making recommendations that will ensure that council tenants can benefit.

“We are aware that tenants have already received letters outlining next year’s rent increase, and will be contacting them again as soon as we are in a position to do so.”
 
The council’s existing rent increase of 6.84 per cent was agreed in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring policy.
 
This policy aims to bring the amount council tenants pay into line with people living in properties managed by other registered social landlords, such as housing associations.

As council rents in South Tyneside are historically low, rent increases are often slightly higher than the Government’s guideline in order to close the gap with rents charged by other landlords.

Any change to the increase in rents for 2009/10 would have to be agreed by full council, at a meeting on March 26.
Well done Paul Myles Kelly, another worthwhile piece of investigative journalism worthy of your profession the Gazette.
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18
Jan
09

‘Monkey Journalism’

Seems anyone with access to a computer can be a ‘journalist’ these days.

 

Of course, that depends on how you define a journalist. If you define it as someone who has a platform on which to publish or broadcast news and views, then everyone is a journalist – thanks, mostly, to the internet.

 

It’s not only on the web that we’re seeing ‘monkey journalism’. Sky News, CNN and the BBC are using amateur video shot by anyone who happens to be in the right place at the right time and captures something interesting. Yet the public has no idea what kind of “vetting” process these videos go through before being broadcast on air.
 
But the internet still poses the greatest dangers, as well as some potential benefits, of ‘monkey journalism’. As long as the reader understands the difference between this and traditional journalism, there is less potential harm to result. Unfortunately, they often don’t.
 
Blogs and forums pose the greatest problems. Social networking sites like Facebook are less problematic because they have settings to limit access to certain groups. Although, nothing posted on the web is ever completely private. On the other hand, most blogs and many forums are fully searchable on Google. Yet, often the content is provided by people who frequently use a pseudonym. They feel powerful while writing anonymously and often make statements that would never be allowed in conventional journalism. Short of getting a lawyer to force the forum owner or blog host to reveal the true identity of the writer, which can take several years and hundreds of thousands of pounds, the victim has little recourse.
 
‘Real journalists’ often get a bad rap and there are certainly bad ones in the profession. However, those who work for major media outlets have strict guidelines to follow. Every organisation has a journalistic standards and procedures manual with guidelines governing fact-checking, libelous or slanderous statements, identifying sources of information, and identifying the line between opinion and fact. In addition, each reporter has an editor overseeing what he or she creates. And, when in doubt, they can seek specialist legal advice.
 
‘Monkey journalists’ have no such guidelines, have no one to whom they report to, no legal advice, and have no policies and procedures manual to consult. They are free to make malicious and untrue statements. They are also free to make you a hero, even if you might actually be an arsehole.
 
Often people featured on blogs have both been victims of, and also benefited from, ‘monkey journalism’. If you are in the public eye, you are a potential victim. There are some great bloggers out there and blogs are becoming a popular source of information, news and opinion. But, the internet is relatively new in terms of legal precedents being set. And it is a difficult medium to govern, whether legally or ethically.
 
No one can argue that a good publicist and developing good media relations can exert considerable positive influence on your image in the traditional media and there’s no better example of this than the power South Tyneside Council’s press office has over the Shields Gazette.

 

But its lot harder to do when every man, woman and child in the world has the right to publish their thoughts.