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It’s not a question of competition between the CNJ and the Camden Magazine

09 March, 2017

• AS a councillor and a resident I am an avid reader of the New Journal; as a journalist, a former press officer, and an active citizen, I am a great champion of local independent press.

As such I was really surprised to read Peeps (Revealed: our new rival, March 2) and see that my words against the Tory amendment to close the Camden Magazine were interpreted as an attack on the freedom of the press and the role of local media in informing our residents.

I simply pointed out that our residents’ survey shows that 60 per cent of our residents receive information about the council’s work from the Camden Magazine (a double figure in comparison to the New Journal and other local newspapers) and questioned the Conservatives for proposing to close the magazine, while wanting to reinstate unaddressed letters on planning applications that were not effective at all.

Local media and official communication are complementary and I (like many other Camden residents) value both of them for the different roles that they play and the different kinds of information that they provide: I would never expect the New Journal to publish all the information about the council’s services that are regularly featured in the Camden Magazine, while it is not for the council magazine to publish stories about a former model willing to become a councillor, that was prominent in the New Journal last week.

I think that institutional communication from the local authority and free local media are both essential part of the democratic process and would never put them in competition.

Labour, Camden Town with Primrose Hill ward


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