Battle of the headlines: Daily Mail 0 – 1 Taxpayers Alliance

August 1st, 2012 § 0 comments

The Taxpayers Alliance have outdone the Daily Mail with a misleading headline.

The Mail reports…

Council that made 1,400 redundant blew £220,000 broadcasting all of their meetings online – but only picked up 57 viewers

This is, by Daily Mail standards quite accurate. The story itself contains more details of the viewing figures for Hampshire County Councils web broadcasts of it’s meetings, starting with 800 viewers in February, when the council had it’s budget, a cabinet meeting in April picked up 167 viewers and 108 viewers in May. The 57 viewers watched the July broadcast.

This detail is contained in the middle of the story, rather than in paragraph 19.

In all, the Mail seems to have done not bad, by their usual standards.

By contrast though, the TPA picked up the story from the Mail and includes the same details but their headline, in an effort to spin it more to their favour, go with

Hampshire Council spent £223,000 filming meetings for just 57 viewers

Not content with running a council down for trying to make their meetings more accessable, and reporting on what does initially look like rather a high figure for this (but what do I know?), the TPA use a headline that make it look like the council have spent £223,000 to broadcast specifically to 57 people, and not to anyone that might want to see what goes on in a council meeting.

Hampshire county council has a population (.pdf) of approximately 1.76 million people with just under 25% of it 19 years or under. so that’s potentially about 1.3 million adults that could tune in. Obviously that’s not going to happen or get anywhere near that, but the potential for a much bigger audience than 57, or even the peak of 800, was there.

But no, the TPA headline makes it look like the council were aiming for just the 57 viewers.

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