Friday, August 22, 2008

Longdendale Bypass 'to reduce traffic in London'

We should be grateful for press coverage - at least according to some we should. After all, in the past we've been constantly ignored, even on the occasions we have fed the press stories. Perhaps if we believed in copyright, this would be an issue for the thieves out there that have pilfered our work and passed it off as their own. However, we tend to believe the most important thing is that the info is out there, but giving someone credit does no harm - we prefer copyleft.

It's not nice to be ignored - even if you are thick skinned and have spent your life being ignored, there's still a little 'ouch' each time it happens.

Therefore, we were astounded that the Glossop Chronic(le) not only quotes a press release we issued about our blog on Monday about the latest Public Inquiry delays, but also gave us a namecheck (if not a full URL) - on the front page of the latest edition (yet to be published online)! Perhaps the fact that the article was not written by the pro-bypass journalist David Jones (big buddy of Mike Flynn of Longdendale Siege Committee/Mentality) played a part?

However, the Glossop/Tameside Advertiser let us down. The journalist in question claims he couldn't distinguish our PR from any other email, but he sees fit to quote us and there is no attribution. We'll let you decide if our PR looks like any other email, but the fact a quote has been used pertaining to an 'anti bypass website' indicates his argument is full of holes and something else it at work. Funnily enough, the same journalist wrote about the installation of the 'Roy Oldham plaque' after we scooped the story.

But what is worse about the Advertiser coverage is the image attached to the article - see the top of the blog. The caption reads "GRIDLOCK: pro-bypass campaigners hope it will make this sight a thing of the past", so we can only assume that the Advertiser considers the 'benefits' of the Bypass will reach as far as London, since the picture is quite clearly of a City street there. What's more devious is that the paper version of this article features a crop of the same picture, which handily removes the giveaway Congestion Charge Zone road markings in the online version.

All of this would be worse if we laboured under illusions about the role and function of the press in a capitalist society, but our reading list includes this devastating institutional analysis.

The no point in twisting the knife further because we feel what we have written so far speaks for itself. We're not about to stop feeding the press articles, but in future, they should keep in mind that each time they deny us credit, we will post a little story here which means it will be preserved for posterity.

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