Monday, 10 September 2012

Revealing old news

I’m not a big fan of newspaper stories which contain the words “we can reveal” in their first sentence.  Rarely, if ever, is that which precedes or follows the words (depending on journalistic style) much of a revelation in practice.  The Western Mail has excelled itself today, however, although only the inside story seems to be on their website, not the more senstaionalist front page intro.

Their ‘revealed truth’, which is that councils can and do sell copies of the electoral register, turns out not to be ‘news’ at all.  In fact, as the quote from the WLGA spokesman confirms, this has been done since at least 1832, and maybe longer.  I would not have believed that any newspaper would present news which is at least 180 years old as such a big story if I hadn’t read it myself.  And they submitted 22 FoI requests to councils as a basis for this story.
I think that I can safely ‘reveal’, without needing to submit a single FoI request, that there has been some wastage of public money involved with these FoI requests.  I don’t expect to see that story splashed on the front page though.

1 comment:

Siônnyn said...

Only 180 years out of date? That is hot news for the Western Mail! Did they cover the Merthyr Riots last year?