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MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS SALFORD LIFE LINK
 

Star date: 19th April 2011 

A Salford Star Exclusive

LIFE IN SALFORD MAG TO GO MONTHLY
MEN GROUP TRIED TO LINK WITH LIFE

With conflicts of interest all over the place, and in a meeting behind closed doors, the Manchester Evening News Group made a formal bid to print Salford Council's Life In Salford magazine and distribute it through the Salford Advertiser.

Meanwhile, Life In Salford, currently appearing monthly, is set to become a quarterly magazine again from May onwards.

Full story here…


Before Christmas the Manchester Evening News Group (now owned by Trinity Mirror) met with Salford Council officers in a formal bid to print and distribute the Council's Life In Salford magazine.

According to a Council report seen by the Salford Star, the idea was to turn Life into a tabloid and distribute it inside the Salford Advertiser, and by hand to those 38,609 households which don't get the Advertiser delivered.

The deal would have meant financial savings for Salford City Council but ethically it stank.

From Salford Council's view there were "reputational risks" and "the impact of our profile and messaging when placed within a commercial newspaper". An officer pointed out that "There could be a situation where the newspaper editorial is critical of the council with the council publication inserted inside".

From a citizen's point of view there would have been the whole question of the neutrality of the MEN Group, when relying on Salford City Council for such a large contract. Questions would have been asked about pressure on Salford Advertiser journalists not to be critical of Salford Council on days when Life was being distributed. None of this was mentioned in the Salford Council report.

In the end, Salford Council weighed up the financial savings against the "less satisfactory distribution methodology" and "reputational risks linking publication to uncertain newspaper editorial" and Salford Council Leader, John Merry, "did not wish to pursue this proposal".

At the time of the meeting between Salford Council and the MEN Group, Life In Salford was still a monthly magazine and the contract would have been worth well over £100,000.

Since that time, as revealed by the Salford Star recently (see here), the ConDem Government has introduced a new code for local authority publicity which explicitly prohibits councils from publishing or commissioning newsletters or news sheets more frequently than quarterly.

Salford Council intends to abide by the new code and thus Life In Salford will revert to being a quarterly publication from May onwards with a yearly budget of around £50,000 (inclusive of adverts). Printing and distribution will now be put out to competitive tendering. Had a deal been struck with the MEN Group it is doubtful whether this would have happened as there is no mention of it in the report seen by the Salford Star.

The new Government code also includes "partnership publications" which could mean that any Salford Council sponsored magazines, like the East Salford `Essence' (ex NDC) paper, would bite the dust. Council officers are seeking clarification on whether the Council's What's On Guide and community committee newsletters are also under threat.

In their place, Salford Council is looking at the possibility of launching a free subscription e-mail newsletter, which would exclude the many people in Salford without access to the internet.

In the Government's new code there is a whole list of what a local council can and can't do around publicity issues. But as Salford Council's legal advisors state, "there are no clear enforcement powers if there is a breach…the only means of enforcement is in the form of complaints to the council or local auditor from members of the public."

Salford Council has issued no publicity, or publicly available minutes, on anything around the new code or Life going monthly, or its dealings with the MEN Group.

See the history of Life In Salford...

* LIFE BEGINS TO LOSE MONEY click here

* LIFE MAD MAG COSTS click here

* SALFORD STAR WARS click here

* SALFORD COUNCIL DRAGGED BEFORE COMMUNITY click here

* THE PRAVDA FACTOR click here

Salford Star wrote
at 05:13:38 on 26 April 2011
See Brian's comment below...Everything we write is based on facts as we take most of the info from Salford Council reports and committee minutes. So, Life is going monthly from May and there was almost a deal struck with the MEN which fell through. Hope this helps.
 
Brian Francis Kirkham wrote
at 20:11:37 on 25 April 2011
Is this true? If so, people of Ordsall rejoice! I can hear the Salford star team ask..why? Well, its quite simple .We haven't had the advertiser delivered round M5 for years! Long may this association continue - it'll mean councillors will have to work harder in M5 just to hold on to their seats, because there's no proof (or propaganda?) from Life in Salford!
 
Ed wrote
at 08:04:16 on 24 April 2011
Return to sender via recycle bin...... I wouldn't even wide my a**e with it because it's full of s**t already!
 
fidelma wrote
at 21:18:56 on 23 April 2011
Jesus Murphy has probably committed the best spelling mistake everr by ommitting the o from council. Freud would be proud and Oxford english should be notified right away....
 
Jesus murphy. wrote
at 07:06:14 on 22 April 2011
To me this proves how valuable the Salford Star is. To me Salford Cuncil would have done the dirty deed of an alliance with the MEN if it werent for the scrutiny of the Star. I have had dealings with the MEN and they are totally motivated by where the next penny is coming from. Ottlewellonly cares about who can forward his career as opposed to journalistic integrity. The Salford Star may well be skint but as it says "man cant live by bread alone ".
 
Nelly Kellet wrote
at 07:05:30 on 22 April 2011
The MEN and Death in Salford ? An alliance of right-wing propaganda rags . Not worth reading , but at least my dog will have something to crap on .
 
Vincent Crummles wrote
at 17:08:53 on 19 April 2011
The jolly salford rag propaganda machine continues .Still an obscene waste of our money , they could employ a new executive Propaganda Director and Administrative Truth Distorter fOR THE MONEY SQUANDERED ON THe trashy Salford Rag - but only for one day a week .
 
don draper wrote
at 17:08:16 on 19 April 2011
C P Scott would be spinning in his grave The paper whose paid journalists are expected to probe challenge and report on behalf of the community in the name of Press Freedom and Democracy MEN what a travesty of a newspaper it has become!
 
D Clemo wrote
at 12:52:22 on 19 April 2011
Another bullshit meeting behind closed doors . Time this lot were permanently behind closed doors , and barred windows .
 
D Boyes wrote
at 12:51:21 on 19 April 2011
The self-serving scum council forming an evil alliance with the right-wing press ? Another new low .Look forward to reading more brainwashing bullshit in this Salfordian Utopia .But at least it's free toilet paper , its only use.
 
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