Monday, 7 March 2011

Willesden and Brent Times Stands Up for Our Rights

At a time when much of the local press is in decline, doing little more than copying and pasting council press releases, the Willesden and Brent Times is going through a strong period. In its previous incarnation as the Brent Chronicle, the paper was known locally, half affectionately, and half in exasperation,  as 'The Chronic'. That description no longer applies.

The WBT has managed to keep a team of reporters covering Brent while the Wembley and Willesden Observer has to make do with one extremely hard-working reporter, and as a result it is usually dominated by Harrow news from its parent paper. The WWO to its credit launched a campaign to save Brent libraries but the WBT's coverage of the cuts has been exemplary, going well beyond the Council's sanitised version of events.

This week the WBT had coverage of the cuts on page 1, page 2, page 4, page 6 and the letters page. It had a long editorial on the cuts, the conclusion of which is worth quoting:
 While the budget is bleak the community should be proud.
Proud that they have launched such vociferous and sophisticated campaigns to save their libraries, sports and youth centres, which have forced council chiefs to rethink their plans.
Proud to be part of a society which questions its councils and Government and challenges them when they think they have got it wrong.
And proud of their capacity to rally round and support each other to find a way through this crisis in public services. 
We are fortunate to have the WBT with us as this crucial time.

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