Islington Council’s newspaper

Islington now Islington Council publishes a newspaper 'Islington Now'.  An FOI request from one L Barnett on 'What do they know' yields some fascinating information.

Islington Now is produced ten times a year with 97,000 copies distributed.  £273,000 was spent on the paper in 2008-2008 with £251,000 budgeted for 2009-2010 As far as i can make our from the FOI request, the paper raised only £14,000 from external advertising, with another £135,000-odd apparently being raised in an internal money-go-round where the council charges it's own divisions to advertise in its own paper.  The council employs a full time staff member to produce the paper at a full cost of £46,000 per annum.

The following phrases occur in Islington Now's editorial policy:

'Articles also need to reflect the council’s key messages, and the magazine has sections that enable us to do this…'Messages should be positive but realistic – we have to be honest with readers and invite them to engage in dialogue with us.We avoid council speak so the magazine is not perceived as propaganda '

Catherine West the new Council Leader has said that 'there will be a few changes to this magazine'.  Will be interesting to see what happens – would be nice to see the council reaching out more to local websites such as this – i have never once had Islington Council's press people contact me or comment in the comments – have a go now folks….

About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust , Good Things Foundation and ThreeSixtyGiving as well as Connect8.
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4 Responses to Islington Council’s newspaper

  1. Claire M says:

    Expect they will probably contact you to make you remove the logo – that or talk to the ISP host.

  2. Sophie Talbot says:

    I’ll do the job for LBI for just half the budget and still be quids in!!!!!

  3. Lorraine says:

    I’ve always thought this was a terrible waste of paper.

  4. Paul Convery says:

    I agree. I have not seen any evaluation to show if the magazine gets read or if any of its editorial matters a jot to anyone. It’s a dreary faux-happy bit of local authority boosterism and it looks like it. I doubt whether anyone takes its “news” at all seriously. Even worse, I doubt if anyone diligently scours the statutory notices pages which account for the “advertising income” claimed by the Council. Personally I put the damn thing straight into the cecycle bin. And I’m one of the weird people who really ought to be reading it.

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