Saturday, 1 March 2014

The Saturday List #56 - Pro Tory stories on the Barnet Times website this week

On Monday we invited the Barnet Times to join our crusade to save the populace of the London Borough of Barnet from the ravage of Tory cuts to the NHS, which have caused a crisis in the NHS. We pointed out that there had been a series of stories that were "rather friendly" towards the local Tories, portraying Tories in a rather good light. We suggested that a campaigning newspaper might prefer to highlight what is wrong locally rather than becoming a quasi Stalinist propoganda rag for the local Tories. The story which prompted the original blog, pointing out how friendly the Times are to local Tories, was prompted when the Barnet Eye noticed that the Times had done a cut and paste job on a story on Tory MP Matthew Offords blog here http://www.matthewofford.co.uk/news/matthew-pledges-support-children-india  
transforming it into this story on the Times http://www.times-series.co.uk/news/11032944.MP_Matthew_Offord_spices_up_trip_to_India/?ref=var_0 

Now we rather hoped that the Barnet Times would feel a bit embarrassed and get stuck into some real stories, but it seems they've gone on a  "be nice to the Tories and cut and paste frenzy". Interestingly, there seems to be a deliberate campaign to portray the man who tried to shut and sell off Friern Barnet Library, Robert Rams as a big friend of libraries this week as well as the man responsible for parking policies Dean Cohen as the friend of the High St. I wonder why these two might need a bit of help at election time?

These are stories which are rather helpful to the Tories election campaign, posted since we put up our blog on Monday.

1. Friday 2.50PM promoting Matthew Offord MP

School enlists help of Hendon MP to tackle fly-tipping and parking problems


2. Wednesday 5.30pm promoting Robert Rams (Robert Rams Story no 1)

'We're absolutely delighted': arts charity secures its future in Barnet


3. Wednesday 2.17pm Promoting Robert Rams (Robert Rams Story no 2)

4. Wednesday 1.20pm promoting Robert Rams (Robert Rams Story no 3)

5. Wednesday 11.10am promoting Dean Cohen (classic pre-election tree planting story)

Now if you click here, you'll see just how many of these stories promoting Tory Councillors have been lifted, almost word for word from Press releases from the Council


Here's the Council versions from their website - spot the difference

Council confirms new home for Community Focus

Published on Wednesday 26 February 2014 in Council and democracy news
Barnet Council is set to refit Friary House, situated in Friary Park, to provide a new home for inclusive arts charity Community Focus.

Finchley Church End library proposal moves one step closer

Published on Wednesday 26 February 2014 in Libraries news
Barnet Council’s Cabinet Resources Committee has approved heads of terms of a proposed lease which could see a new library being built at Finchley Church End.

Barnet town centres set to get leafier

Published on Tuesday 25 February 2014 in Tree management news
Barnet Council is set to plant more than 120 trees within its town centres over the coming months.

So we have a situation where the Barnet Times can't be bothered to go out and look for stories. It is much easier just to rehash press releases from the Council and pretend all is hunky dory. Now I wouldn't mind if it didn't really matter, but as we reported on Monday there is a huge news story in the London Borough of Barnet.  The Barnet Press (the rival to the Times) deserves great credit for actually doing a proper job on the NHS crisis in A&E and emergency beds, publishing this story


They devoted the Page 3 to stories in this weeks edition, highlighting the crisis in the NHS locally. This is a real story and it is something that could affect anyone in the Borough. So we ask the editor of the Barnet Times once again to start doing his job and covering the stories that really affect people in the Borough and not just rehash press releases churned out to help the local Tories get reelected. 

The Barnet Eye passionately believes the local press matter and MUST do their job properly in a democracy. How else can we make intelligent decisions? If all journalists do is cut and paste jobs on Council generated propoganda, they are not serving there readers. I ask them once again, get out and cover the stories that matter. 

10 comments:

Mrs Angry said...

Hear hear: just writing a similar post: less churnalism, more journalism is what we need from our local press. Instead of sitting back and regurgitating press releases, or sitting in a cafe waiting for members of the public to call in with stories, how about going out and investigating what is right under your noses?

Daniel Hope said...

Amazing! You were just writing the same? Who'd have thought the famous five, now four, often write the same blog posts.

And what about all those times that BAPS shoves out a message that you all slavishly copy and paste on your blogs and them spam tweet about endlessly?

That doesn't happen.

If the Times happens to have stories that feature Conservative politicians at the moment more than others isn't it just possibly as the Labour ones have nothing to say or are saying and doing nowt, even being eclipsed by the band of three LibDems on the BBC and in the Standard as Barnet's real opposition?

Would you write the same comment / blog piece if they were 'copy pasting' Dismore press releases? No, you wouldn't.

Just a thought.

Rog T said...

It is quite incredible how Dan Hope, who is an ex Tory Councillor in Brunswick Park, can so completely miss the point with such regularity. Could that be the reason that his esteemed former Colleague and Tory grandee Councillor Tambourides arranged for him to get deselected?

Anonymous said...

On the plus side of the Times pro-Tory editorial line is that the online versions invite comment from the wider population. Most of it is very critical of the Tories and very little supportive. This gives me hope that my fellow citizens will be joining me in voting out this rotten administration come May.

Daniel Hope said...

Roger have you hit the booze early tonight?

"esteemed former Colleague and Tory grandee Councillor Tambourides"

You're the first and last person I know of to describe scandal dogged Tambourides quite like that. It is amusing and I know you just do it as a wind up but you're brain must still be pickled with booze to even write that in jest!

Rog T said...

Dan,

I hate to state the bleeding obvious, but it is a statement of fact to point out that the local association sided with your esteemed friend Councillor Tambourides and you got the sack. They MUST esteem him a bit, mustnt they?

I wonder what your obsession with my boozing is, actually I am just about to play 5 a side football. Unlike some rather more portly tweeting bloggers, I am fit and look after myself.

The pies are safe in my company

Daniel Hope said...

Only assumed you must be drunk as if you are not you you must be completely off your trolley to be able to write such guff!

Carry on the trolling, you are really very good. Have you thought of setting up a trolling consultancy?

Rog T said...

Look up the definition of Trolling. Responding to stupid comments left on your own blog by a serial troll such as yourself is clearly nothing of the kind.

You leave offensive messages on twitter calling people c***ts, you continually snipe and make snide comments and if anyone has the audacity to respond you call them a troll.

Now whilst I find your rudeness and lack of self awareness hilarious, I have to balance this with the fact you are the attack dog of the local Conservative party. As a former councillor and (failed) chief whip, it is fair to assume you operate under direction in your activities.

Therefore you must be treated as a malicious and unprincipled aggressor in all dealings. It is I feel important for casual readetrs to understand this

Daniel Hope said...

Roger, Go get a life and stop writing barefaced lies about me. Surely you have better ways of generating hits to your hulled out shell of a blog.

Don't you think it's time for you find someone else to troll, stalk and obsess about? It's getting just a little bit creepy.

Rog T said...

Daniel,

I am starting to wonder if you are delusional. Do you really think that writing comments on my own blog about you generates blog hits? I have yet to meet a single soul in Barnet who has the slightest interest in you. The only reason you've been mentioned at all on this particular blog is because you chose to start writing inane comments on it.

I hate to burst your bubble, but if you really believe mentioning you in the comments of my own blog generates hits, you need to visit a psychiatrist.