A YOUNG Labour council candidate recently told some of his senior colleagues that he just been interviewed by YourThurrock. He was taken to the side (according to our source) and advised to have no truck with YT. “Just a mouthpiece for the Tories”
A while back, we were removed from the mailing list of a community forum for our constant criticism of the Labour members.
Earlier this afternoon we received an e-mail from a councillor who gave us much needed advice on media bias as we seemed to be consistently anti-Tory.
They counselled us: “If you want to be taken as a serious media outlet, you must stop being a Labour party foghorn”.
Later on in the day, a comment passed on our site asked: “Is Your Thurrock a news service or is it just a mouthpiece of the local Conservative party?
This article appears, particularly with the words in bold font, to be nothing more than a promotion of the local Conservative Party line. What is it doing on here without any context or balancing comment. It is either shoddy journalism or a political advertisement.
I was always told that rule one in journalism is that if you dish it out then you better take it. If you can’t, quit.
We have said this before and we will say it again. We’re not on anyone’s side. We are simply a critical friend to the borough.
We report our news in a rolling news style. We will run a press release from John Kent in full and we will later run the same for Garry Hague.
There are councillors from both sides who are very good at public relations. Who always pick up the phone and are responsive. There are others who have not replied to an e-mail in five years. One said that they didn’t do e-mail but miraculously is able to set up the direct debit for the thousands of pounds in allowances they take from the taxpayer every year.
So, as an independent business our only bias is against those who, we suspect are at it. We know there are councillors who burn the midnight oil going over documents and others who we suspect are actually on the witness protection scheme and living in Eugene, Oregon.
We have our views on issues. The recent “historic” Tory victory over the budget for example. Could be a sound amendment and re-structuring of the Labour proposals. The four architects could sweep themselves back into power on the back of it or it could be, in light of the May elections (and I quote) ‘the longest suicide note in political history” that will see them condemned to return to pre-2004 shadows.
Likewise, Labour chief John Kent could find his position (further) isolated. The “long tail” of the Cabinet further exposed and subsequently, the group fail to make the inroads that they should on May 5th.
Who knows. Whatever happens, we will be there, interviewing the candidates and giving what we believe is the best coverage we can. Since we launched in Sept 2008, 200 local newspapers have gone out of business. It is harder and harder for the local voice to be heard. We like to think that we are bucking that trend and showing how independent publishers can produce news for a local community.
At the same time, we appreciate every single viewer that looks in on the site. We embrace the feedback because that is one of the ways in which you gauge the political temperature and it is, after all, your Thurrock.