Last week, when the council told the local bloggers they wouldn’t get council press releases and these would be replaced with council news feeds, both Simon Moores and ! put the computer thingy, that uses the council’s news feed, to show our readers the council’s latest news on our blog sidebars.
During the whole of this week the council’s news feed hasn’t fed a single press release, I have moved this thingy up to the top of my sidebar so you can see what I mean.
There have been some council press releases recently including a fairly important one about the council’s accounts, when this one didn’t feed earlier this week I put in a complaint to the council, see http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/flat611/ With this one I came up against the old council problem of what’s broken at TDCIT? I didn’t get any reply or acknowledgment from them so I don’t know if they are dealing with the complaint, or if the email got lost in their general IT problems.
I am pretty sure that there is something fundamentally wrong with the council’s decision not to allow the public to contact their press department, everything looks normal on their website at http://www.thanet.gov.uk/news/focus_on_news.aspx where it says “To find out more about these news releases , please contact the Press Office. Either e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01843 577034”.
There is certainly a news story involving the council this week, this seems to have started life in The Friday’s Isle of Thanet Gazette, see http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Sub-head/story-12827053-detail/story.html
Why their story is called “Sub Head” is a bit of a mystery to me, probably some sort of accredited journalistic code that would be indecipherable to the sub media like me.
This seems to be a story about some money that the council had to return, between 11 and 5 years ago the council claimed about five and half million in grants and now they have had to give about half a million back that they shouldn’t have claimed.
There have been follow-up blog posts by Dave Green at http://eastclifframsgate.blogspot.com/2011/06/tdc-funding-blunders.html and Margate Architecture at http://margatearchitecture.blogspot.com/2011/06/thanet-district-council-forced-to-repay.html
I have read it all twice and am not that much the wiser about GOSE or the ERDF, if anything I have come away with the vague feeling of organisations funded by taxation generating masses of paperwork and not much else.
If like me you didn’t get out yesterday to buy an Isle of Thanet Gazette and you are at work now, most of the paper seems to available online at http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/people/Isle%20of%20Thanet%20Gazette/profile.html this is one newspaper’s website that has gone completely potty. Their news feed has collapsed completely and their search box thinks that Thanet is a spelling mistake but the real indicator of an IT disaster is the total absence of comment on any of their articles, suggesting that no one is reading them, probably because they can’t find them.
Other local bloggers have published posts about the council’s new press office rules, see http://bignewsmargate.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-media-reports-on-censorship.html and http://www.thanetwaves.co.uk/ and http://thanetstar.com/article/the-real-reason-the-council-press-office-cannot-cope
Your Thanet have also covered it in the bizarre way that only a local newspaper trying to grapple with the internet could, by publishing it only online via a program for viewing newspapers with called pageview, essentially as a blog about blogs where you can’t comment.
Delving the Your Thanet Website http://www.yourthanet.co.uk/ one thing is obvious there is very little Thanet comment and virtually no recent articles about Thanet you could comment on if you wanted to.
Frankly the way the local media in Thanet are coping with the internet is all pretty strange and none so strange as Your Thanet, a paper that is now only available online.
When it comes to newspapers and comment, the only local paper getting a lot of comment Thanet Extra is blazing the trail, see http://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet_extra/news.aspx the only thing the paper lacks though is much in the way of Thanet news stories.