Local Democracy, Journalism and Public Relations : The Changing Dynamics in Local Media and Public Sector Communications
203 p. 24 cm
The book offers insights into the challenges currently being faced by communicators within local public services. It includes in-depth case studies on the Grenfell Tower disaster, the Rotherham child-grooming scandal and the Sheffield tree felling controversy.
This is a critical examination of the impact of sustained large-scale austerity cuts on local government communications in the UK. Budget constraints have left public sector media teams without the resources for robust citizen-facing communications. The "nose for news" has been downgraded and local journalists, once the champions of public interest coverage, are a force much diminished. The book asks, what is lost to local democracy as a result? And what does it mean when no one is holding the country's public spenders to account? The authors present extensive interviews with communications professionals working across different council authorities. These offer important insights into the challenges currently being faced by communicators within local public services. The book also includes in-depth case studies on the Grenfell Tower disaster, the Rotherham child-grooming scandal and the Sheffield tree-felling controversy. These events all raise serious questions about the scrutiny and accountability of local authorities and the important role the media can and does play. Local Democracy, Journalism and Public Relations provides new empirical data on, and the real-world views of, working communications teams in local government today. For students and researchers interested in local journalism and public relations, the book illuminates the current relationship between these professions, local democracy and political accountability.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to Local Government Accountability: The role of public relations and the media Adrian Roxan 2. The History and Evolution of Local Government and Local Democracy Adrian Roxan 3. The Rise of Public Relations and the Impact of the Austerity Years Adrian Roxan 4. Local Media Decline: A 'sector in crisis'? Carmel O'Toole 5. Views from the Foothills Carmel O'Toole 6. Today's Newsroom: Adapting to digital Carmel O'Toole 7. Case studies: Grenfell, Child Sex Exploitation and Sheffield Tree-Felling 8. Summary and conclusions Carmel O'Toole and Adrian Roxan