A lderman Kristie Johnston today has announced that she has put forward to Glenorchy City Council a Notice of Motion seeking to allow the Glenorchy Gazette to become a genuinely independent community newspaper free from Council censorship.
In May 2013 Council sold the Glenorchy Gazette to Corporate Communications Pty Ltd.
Ald Johnston has had firsthand experience of the censorship when she tried to place a paid advertisement for the Clean Up Glenorchy Taskforce monthly activities and was advised by Corporate Communication that Council had refused to approve its publication. Ald Johnston was advised that it was censored because Council were of the view that it implied that Glenorchy needed cleaning up and was negative towards Council. Ald Johnston said “This was a straightforward advertisement of a community volunteer event, the kind of advertisement you’d expect to find in a community newspaper”.
Ald Johnston said that it appears that the current operator of the Glenorchy Gazette, is restricted in the editorial and advertorial they can publish due to Council’s ultimate control over the content.
Ald Johnston said “There is a commonly held belief in the community that the editorial and advertorial in the Gazette is free from bias and a fair and objective representation of the activities and issues within the Municipality, however this is not the case at all. I expect that residents will be outraged to discover that on a number of occasions Council has censored content and prevented the publication of material that they perceive to be negative to Council or contradictory to a policy of Council. In effect the Glenorchy Gazette is not a community newspaper at all but rather one very large monthly propaganda piece for Glenorchy City Council!”
“I believe the community are being deceived and that local news is only being reported if it is favourable to the Council. It can hardly be described as a balanced view if all the community sees is that which the Council wants them to see. This is gross political interference in distribution of community information, news and engagement” said Ald Johnston.
“It is time for Council to come clean on this one and either fully disclose their control and interference with the Gazette or allow the Gazette to operate as a genuine community newspaper unfettered by Council controls.” said Ald Johnston.
Media are invited to attend the Council Meeting at 3pm Monday 29 Sept 2014.
For further information please contact Ald Kristie Johnston on 0437 967 786
Authorised by Kristie Johnston 470 Main Road, Montrose 7010