A council is warning it will reduce access to journalists if they aren’t regulated or don’t offer a right of reply. Andrew Brightwell asksif this marks a turning point for journalism’s relationship with local councils.
Two weeks ago, Thurrock Council approved its communications strategy, setting out how it will talk to residents and media.
Communications strategies are approved every day by councils without controversy, but Thurrock’s has provoked accusations that the authority wants to play ‘judge and jury’ to its coverage in the media, as YourThurrock first reported.
Most of the document — which you can read here (PDF) — is innocuous, but a section on media liaison says it will only consider journalists’ organisations as ‘media’ if they are signed up to a press or broadcast regulator. Continue reading →
Those helpful people at Hacks/Hackers have let me set up a Hacks/Hackers group for Birmingham. This is basically a group of people interested in the journalistic (and, by extension, the civic) possibilities of data. If you’re at all interested in this and think you might want to meet up in the Midlands sometime, please join up.
Our speaker will be Caroline Beavon, an experienced journalist who caught the data bug on my MA in Online Journalism (and whose experiences I felt would be accessible to most). In addition, NHS Local’s Carl Plant will be talking briefly about health data and Walsall Council’s Dan Slee about council data.
All are welcome and no technical or journalistic knowledge is required. I’m hoping we can pair techies with non-techies for some ad hoc learning.