Edinburgh Journalist Wars: the gloves are off

Today’s Edinburgh Evening News carries a story on its cover about Edinburgh Council’s Outlook series of local kinda community newspapers.  Michael Blackley lambastes the freesheets, calling them “propaganda” and rallying local readers to pressure the council to “pulp ‘Pravda’.”  Apparently the populist Evening News would divert the money saved into buying school books for the city’s youth, thus holding the council to ransom by implying some sort of anti-education stance manifested in the publication of the Outlook series.  I must say I find this whole angle particularly right-wing despite its ostensible stance as Defender of the Kiddies’ Maths Books.  The comparison is totally arbitrary.

It’s becoming clear that a huge financial bite will be taken out of UK councils, so all of this may be entirely academic in a year’s time anyway, with Outlook scrapped altogether and an unholy haemorrhaging of the school system looming.

I can’t help feeling like the Evening News is playing spoiled child here, attacking a little brother so, despite said sibling’s revenues coming in a little more easily, from the public purse.  My bias is that I’d like to see as many publications as possible because I’d like to have as many writing options as possible!  And I’m sure all the good chappies working for Outlook will be delighted to see this little ‘Scottish Kiss’ from the Evening News which effectively calls for their outright redundancy.  Happy Humbugging Christmas lads.

Maybe the council should re-evaluate, especially in light of the Cameron-Osborne-Clegg clippers chopping their way northwards, but the Pravda reference irks me to the core.  Public-equals-communist is a lazy, below-the-belt rationale that insults our intelligence.  Great reading!  Am I overreacting?


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by greenerleith, Alister Black. Alister Black said: RT @greenerleith: Edinburgh Journalism Wars: The Gloves Are Off: http://bit.ly/alFo86 […]

  2. Am I overreacting? No, the Evening News has long been second rate rubbish, with a new agenda driven by it advertisers. This city deserves better.

    Comment by An Edinburgh citizen — November 14, 2010 @ 1:02 pm
  3. i don’t think this city does deserve better- walk the dirty streets, talk to vague trendy people in pubs… people can’t wait to be sold-to in Edinburgh, they have no real passion of their own, can’t afford to live in London? buy the Guardian and mouth off about your eco-friendly crepe party while sitting in the Meadows instead. Can’t afford LSD? buy a colour television.

    Comment by tommy — November 15, 2010 @ 9:08 am
  4. Tommy that is funny – “Can’t afford LSD? Buy a colour television.” Right enough it is cheaper.
    But I don’t feel hugely sympathetic towards Outlook – a publication I’ve never read – even if the Evening News is rubbish too. A lot of the Outlook ilk are money-wasting ego-tripping unenlightening straight-to-recycling box fodder.
    Though if they’ll pay you to write for them, I take it all back.

    Comment by blackwatertown — November 19, 2010 @ 11:24 pm
  5. BWT, I have to admit I usually recycle Outlook first, and then… Woops!

    Comment by comelybankingcrisis — November 20, 2010 @ 12:00 pm
  6. Don’t knock the free sheets – they provide a wonderful outlet for writers who haven’t got a hope in hell of getting published, let alone paid, for their amateur scribblings. More power to Outlook and every other unread publication like it!

    Comment by a reader — December 5, 2010 @ 1:43 am

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