Sunday, 24 March 2013

Where was the Barnet Times at the Barnet Spring rally

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I would have thought that the fact that nearly 1,000 people and an open top double decker bus travelled from Finchley Central to Friern Barnet library in a blizzard may have warranted a mention on the Barnet Times website yesterday. Presumably hundreds, if not thousands of people along the route would have seen the unprecedented procession and wondered what it was all about. We hear that the local press is in decline. I had thousands of hits on the blog as people looked for info about the demo. People are genuinely interested.

So what were the staff at the Barnet Times up to? The Times posted a story today promoting a job fair organised by Finchley MP Mike Freer. I have no problem with this and I applaud Mike for doing something useful. It does however seem that at the moment the Barnet Times is far more inclined to post stories which are supportive of the local Conservatives than they are of the opposition to the regime.

One of the Times reporters even took time out to publish, almost word for word, an edited down press release from Barnet Council about changes to benefit arrangements when they could have been out in the cold with us at the March. If nothing else it shows that someone was in the office with time on their hands.

Compare the meerkats -

The original

 The Barnet Times story

I do understand that yesterday was a bit cold ( I should know I got frozen), but the Times should get out of their comfy office and do the job. Is it too much to ask? If people see things going on in the locality and find that the papers are not covering it, they will stop looking. I think local press is important. That is why I urge their staff to get out of their comfy, warm offices, get their notepads out and start covering local news properly.

1 comment:

Mr Mustard said...

Not enough journalists to go round on local papers nowadays and chatting to one of them at the Judicial Review (and 3 local papers came along; Times, Press and H&H)they deliberately don't fill the whole paper with stories about Barnet Council, which they could, as amazingly some people prefer to read about other things like charity events, centenarians, football (stop there Mr Mustard you will stir up a Hornets' nest) and perhaps they have simply decided to leave this story to blogs.

Maybe they also like to have some time to see their families at weekends and stories will appear tomorrow.

I don't like them regurgitating press releases as if they are news but at least we add the balance to them.