News management

I have been up early both yesterday and to do breakfast show interviews. Yesterday I drove down to Manchester to do a live interview on Alan Beswick’s breakfast show on BBC Radio Manchester. Following that I did a pre-recorded piece for Radio 4 on savings being made in local government expenditure.

Today I agreed to do an interview for Radio Five Live on the story that various Liberal Democrat ministers have been secretly taped saying not all that complementary things about some Conservative Ministers. It appears that undercover reporters from a national newspaper have been posing as constituents and obtaining surgery appointments and then secretly recording the comments made by the Liberal Democrat ministers. I was asked what I thought of this my view is that as with any self generated ‘news’ it should be treated by the public with a degree of scepticism. Actually a large amount of what is passed off as news is actually the result of material self generated by the news outlet. In effect rather than reporting the news they are creating it. Sting operations like the one that has entrapped Liberal Democrat ministers are perhaps the most serious example of this but a common example is when a paper commissions an opinion poll and then reports the findings as news. They have created the news themselves.

Since the recess started I have been busy dealing with constituents problems and trying to make some last minute preparations for Christmas.