Dissident Congress website

Why are local newspapers so hostile towards the BNP?

By Dissident Congress

Anybody who reads local newspapers in the run up to an election will quickly notice how hostile they are towards the BNP if they decide to field candidates. Sometimes they deny the BNP the oxygen of publicity. Other times they give the BNP bad press. Several local newspapers have even published letters by councillors from establishment parties vilifying the BNP as being Nazis. Technically this is libel, and in such situations the editor of the newspaper is just as guilty for publishing the letter as the author is for writing it.

Surely given that there are hundreds of local newspapers then at least one of them would print something positive about the BNP. Is it just co-incidence that every editor of every local newspaper hates the BNP and their policies, or are more sinister forces at work? Let's investigate.

Firstly, very few local newspapers are independent locally owned outfits any more. The vast majority have been taken over by national or international media corporations, with the consequence that their editors have to comply with the vested interests of the media moguls at the top of the pyramid. For example, the Bradford Telegraph and Argus is owned by Newsquest Media Group along with nearly 300 other local and national newspapers. Newsquest Media Group itself is owned by an American media giant, Gannett Co. Inc.

Secondly, local newspapers are businesses whose primary purpose is not to provide news but to make money for their shareholders and corporate bosses. They make their money from advertising. Although most advertising revenue comes from private companies, local councils regularly place advertisements for a variety of services, and to invite tenders for contracts.

Advertisements from councils are a regular and lucrative source of revenue, and owners of local newspapers do not want to lose it, so they pressure their editors into doing everything they can to reflect the interests of councils. Many council officials have issued stern warnings under authority of establishment party councillors to the editors and owners of local newspapers, stating that if they give the BNP positive coverage, then they will stop advertising in them. In some instances the editors have even been explicitly told by councils to fabricate untrue stories, or publish letters they wouldn't consider publishing, that give the BNP bad press.

Now it becomes clear why local newspapers never (or very rarely) give the BNP any positive media coverage and it isn't always the result of liberal lefty editors.

An interesting question is what will happen if the BNP takes control of a council. Will the boot be on the other foot and the situation over council advertising give the BNP leverage to pressure the editor of the local newspaper into giving the BNP good press and the establishment parties bad press?