Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stopped clock. Twice a day.

I've not said it before and I'll probably never say it again, but George Monbiot is absolutely right here.
It's true that the vacuity and cowardice of the local papers has been exacerbated by consolidation, profit-seeking, the collapse of advertising revenues and a decline in readership. But even if they weren't subject to these pressures, they would still do more harm than good.

Local papers defend the powerful because the powerful own and fund them. I can think of only two local newspapers that consistently hold power to account: the West Highland Free Press and the Salford Star. Are any others worth saving? If so, please let me know. Yes, we need a press that speaks truth to power, that gives voice to the powerless and fights for local democracy. But this ain't it.

1 comment:

Al Widdershins said...

I grew up in Shropshire and still visit regularly - the local rag there is *priceless* when it comes to blatant brownnosing and sucking up the local various local elites. I was once told that the paper has a bad reputation with non-Tory local politicians for citing off-the-record material.