Council newspaper accused of bias
By Patrick LowmanA FURIOUS Independent councillor says he fears a county council's quarterly newspaper is being used for “political propaganda”.Richard Kemp, a county councillor for Long Melford, has criticised the latest edition of the About Suffolk newspaper.
By Patrick Lowman
A FURIOUS Independent councillor says he fears a county council's quarterly newspaper is being used for “political propaganda”.
Richard Kemp, a county councillor for Long Melford, has criticised the latest edition of the About Suffolk newspaper.
It features pictures of Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors in action, but does not include any of the Conservative or Independent members at work.
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The Suffolk County Council-produced publication is delivered to about 340,000 households across the county four times a year.
Its purpose is to keep the public informed on what is going on in the county and up to date with the work of the authority.
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But Mr Kemp said he feared the publication was being used for political propaganda to promote the county council's Labour/Liberal Democrat administration.
“This is a newspaper which is produced to reflect what goes on in the county, it is not supposed to be political,” he added.
“In the latest edition there are four pictures of Labour councillors at work and one of a Liberal Democrat, yet there is none of Conservative or Independent councillors.
“I do not think this is fair and balanced representation, it is clearly unbalanced and makes it look like the Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors are the only ones doing any work.
“It brings me to the conclusion that the publication could be being used as a tool for political propaganda and not as a free newspaper to keep the people of Suffolk informed, which is exactly what it is supposed to be.”
Mr Kemp has now made an official complaint to Mike More, the county council's chief executive, about the content in the latest issue of About Suffolk.
A county council spokesman said: “About Suffolk is a publication for and about the people of Suffolk.
“It focuses on the people and places of the county and to tell the people what the council is doing. The editorial content of the paper is based on the administration's policies and priorities.”