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….