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Friday, December 19, 2003

A trivial affair

I reported on 20 November under the title "Open House" that a member of the House Committee had spoken against that body meeting in public on the grounds that "the press are not mature enough to properly report on our proceedings." It seems that this dislike of the fourth estate is infectious. Richard Hazlewood of the South Wales Echo sent me this today: "Hi Peter, Spotted this in the latest WAG cabinet minutes (October 20, 2003) and thought you might be interested. I notice they can't give us any examples to back up the claim. Perhaps they protest too much ... "

"Item 3: Communications and Media Items 3.1 Ministers raised concerns about the lack of serious balance between and trivial coverage of Assembly business by the media. This particularly appeared acute with daily newspapers in Wales."

Check it out yourself here. They really don't learn do they?

Incidentally, I should pay tribute to Richard here. He has most probably scribed his last bit of "trivia" for the Echo as he is moving on to new pastures. I was tempted to say better things but as he is leaving to be the Welsh Conservative Group Press Officer, I thought I would leave it at that. I understand that the main motivating factor is money but whatever the reason we will miss his wry comments on the day's events as well as his company at Party Conference. We will also miss a permanent presence from the South Wales Echo in the Assembly as Richard is not to be replaced. Adios, Richard and watch your back amongst those Tories!

Thanks for the kind words. Apparently the main reason for the ministerial criticism was the less-than-positive press coverage of their plans to debate seating arrangements in the assembly chamber. And we all know what a valuable use of government time that would have been ...

Richard Hazlewood 23 December 2003
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