Monday, January 07, 2008

Cheers mate!

Skuds has dedicated a recent post to me, all about a subject which has already appeared on RMF a couple of times - the odd relationship between the media and the sex industry.

Not only is the Crawley News still advertising adult services (albeit with a 'disclaimer', which I like to think was a result of this humble blog's attention) near the back pages while reporting the case of a woman trafficked into the country and forced to have sex in a local brothel, but there was an outcry when the South Wales Echo did the same thing late last year.

As a result of a meeting with the government in November, it would seem that the Newspaper Society will be revisiting their guidelines on acceptable advertising. It would be good to know what those guidelines are, but they are available to NS members only. I can't even find how much it would cost to get the 'PERA' membership required to look at the 'Ad Points' section of the website, so I suspect it's not something I'll be buying. If a friendly journo / advertising editor happens by and can let me know what these guideline are?

Only I'm pretty sure that they already suggest that adverts for massage or escort services clearly suggest that 'extras' are also on offer, or if the publication could reasonable expect that to be the case. I'm not sure if the ads in the back of the News cross the line, but they are pretty close.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Is this value for money?

The Crawley News reports that the Tory leader of Crawley Borough Council went on a 3 day training course in South Africa, partly funded out of the Council budget.

Obviously, Lanzer will justify the cost of the trip, as he learnt a lot and was fired up on his return. The CBC payment only amounted to about £675, which is not a huge amount. The rest was from grants, which may or may not be funded by the national taxpayer.

The course involved looking at 'law and order' issues. The thing about this is that the Borough Council doesn't have a great deal of responsiblity for these. The Police Authority is a seperate body, with delegates from local authorities, but from West Sussex, not Crawley. So Bob Lanzer isn't on it. He might be on Police Liaison, but that's not really a 'leadership' position.

Of course, councillors do need to be trained up, and they should be exposed to external practices, otherwise they risk being too ingrained in parochialism. However, it appears that there will be some raised eyebrows at this particular item. Especially as the News has put it on their front page this week.