And so after what has been something of a Bash A Local Councillor / Local Media sort of seven days around these parts, I see no reason not to continue. Especially so when you can kill two birds with one stone.
I really would like to get back to blogging about the nicer things in life (top tip: the Happiness Project is an inspiration) but right now, there’s plenty of pessimism around the Rotten Borough.
And so having completely missed the £700 per hour freelancer rate story by not attending cabinet, @streathamnews also managed to miss the headline news from the @streathamaction Hub meet on Wednesday evening.
I thought the whole point of the modern interweb was that deadlines are irrelevant? You find news, you publish, you move on. Why then do we have a story time stamped 2:29pm on Thursday 11th February that gives the impression that @streathamnews didn’t send a journo along to the major public meeting in their patch?
Um… maybe because it didn’t send a journo along to the major public meeting in their patch? It was a particularly cold night, after all.
So having picked up the story in my RSS feed and finding out that @streathamnews MISSED the basics of (i) the March board meeting by Tesco to make a decision on the Hub, (ii) the bonkers option being investigated by @lambeth_council of opening a temporary gym on Streatham Common and (iii) the minor matter of Nu Labour pin up boy and Parliamentary candidate for Streatham, @ChukaUmunna‘s admission that he “doesn’t trust Tesco,” what exactly did I see in my feed?
Is it an advert? Is it a story? Or is it just another lazy hack example of not even being bothered to source a proper picture?
Eyes right in the image above for the Lambeth to Freeze Council Tax headline. Fair enough. Tell It Like It Is, etc. But what’s with the rather familiar image, not to mention the @lambeth_council corporate logo attached to the top?
A click through to the story confirms that this is genuine hard news copy. Cripes. I’ve already giving @strethamnews something of a kicking over the actual C & P of the copy, direct from Lambeth Labour’s official site. I’ve also entered into dialogue with a rather confused commenter, who seems to think that the original story was written by @streathamnews, and then picked up by Lambeth Labour.
Um, other way round, fella.
But anyway – the picture. It’s beyond parody that a piece of council propaganda that belongs in Lambeth Life can be appropriated as a front page splash on the website of the supposed independent voice of Streatham. Use the picture if you like, but take some filthy wonga off our friends @lambeth_council and call it advertising. It almost makes me feel nostalgic for the good ‘ol SLP‘s fistful of dollars stock image.
[point of order: twenty-four hours following the rather major meeting, right outside the offices of the South London Press, and still no mention of the hard news stories regarding the Hub on its sorry excuse for a site.]
The feeling on the floor at the Streatham Hub meeting last night was one of a complete betrayal by @lambeth_council and Tesco. What the users of the closed leisure centre need right now is not a local paper that has simply become the preferred online publishing mouth of the ruling party in Lambeth.
Becoming an online repository for council sourced images doesn’t constitute journalism. Nice picture though.