Wednesday 12 December 2012

The South Wales Guardian and a DNA sample

Today's issue of the South Wales Guardian leads with the paper's own account of its blacklisting by Carmarthenshire Council. The story can be found here, with an editorial here and and a further comment piece here, in which Cneifiwr gets a mention.

Congratulations go to the paper and its staff for having the guts to stand up to the County Hall bullies. Cneifiwr waits with bated breath to see whether the Carmarthen Journal will now follow suit, or failing that report on the punishment meted out to a fellow member of the local press.

The blacklisting was triggered by the Guardian's decision in early September to criticise the council for the now infamous Sainsbury's press release which falsely accused MP Jonathan Edwards and Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM of "deliberately sabotaging" the development of two new supermarkets.

The MP and AM eventually complained to the Ombudsman for Public Services after a coalition of senior Labour and Independent councillors and senior council officers blocked any discussion of the affair by councillors.

By happy coincidence, the Ombudsman was in Carmarthen yesterday and paid County Hall a visit as a part of his investigation. Some of the discussion involved the contents of a leaked e-mail between chief executive Mark James and Debbie Williams, the head of the council's press office.

It now seems that interesting questions have arisen over the authorship of the press release. If you believe that Kevin Madge wrote it, you probably also believe that a jolly elf visits your house every Christmas and leaves lots of toys and other goodies behind.

DNA samples are now on their way to the Ombudsman.

The matter also merited a brief mention at today's council meeting, where Cllr Glynog Davies (Plaid) said he was astonished to read about the blacklisting. Labour and Independent councillors remembered their vows of silence, and it was left to the chief executive to say that there could be a debate about the Guardian another time.

Just don't hold your breath.

More on today's very unfestive council meeting and the decison to reject a motion which would have allowed members of the public to record meetings will follow rather sooner than any debate in County Hall about the council's treatment of the local press.


Anonymous said...

The Western Mail is running the story tomorrow

Anna Mosity said...

BBC article here:-

It contains references to the work of the 20+ strong CCC PR department replying to the South Wales Guardian claims.

Delyth Jenkins said...

Wonder if the Guardian would print my story? So much has been untold as yet.