"business news"

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Thursday 1 July 2004 12.10pm
A query for James H - the business news section currently features a piece about developments by Buxton Homes, and a few weeks ago there was a similar feature on Acorn Homes. They are so obviously 'advertorial' I question that they should be called news. Perhaps I'm being too precious about this - hopefully the companies whose products are promoted in such glowing terms are paying for this stuff to be featured?
Thursday 1 July 2004 12.28pm
Thanks for your comments - I take your point and it is very useful to have feedback like this.

They are certainly not paid-for features - we wouldn't compromise our news service by running advertisement features that weren't labelled as such.

We do hope to cover news relating to all types of business operating in the area, and I would encourage local businesses to send us their press releases to make sure we get a good spread of coverage.

I certainly wouldn't want the section - or any part of the site - to become dominated by estate agents or property developers.

Our policy (across all our publications - print/web/email) has always been to cover everything from jumble sales to high art, from Manze's pie and mash shop to SoBo, from Coin Street Community Builders to Berkeley Homes, etc etc.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Monday 5 July 2004 4.20pm
I would argue that some stories in the main news section that appear to be based on press releases from the two cathedrals should appear under "business news".

Some of these release legitimately advertise events at their visitor attractions (aka cathedrals) that are of interest to anyone in SE1, but others (e.g. this one)seem to be principally for the benefit of their regular customers/stakeholders/branches outside SE1 (aka parish congregations)

Why should the Anglican diocese of Southwark and the RC Archdicocese be uniquely privileged above other local employers in getting their corporate press releases onto a website with very high Google scores?

This isn't posted from an atheistical perspective - I just think that James's editorial position is inconsistent - in that he doesn't include news/events from the churches just over the border into SE11/SE16 (in some cases combined with SE1 parishes) - that probably have more SE1 residents in their congregations than the two cathedrals.
Monday 5 July 2004 4.34pm
Thanks for your thoughts on this - very useful.

The only point I would make is that an apparent lack of coverage of certain local organisations (whether churches, attractions, companies or whatever) isn't always for lack of trying - some organisations are very good at keeping us updated with their news and events, others need chasing every single time, even after six years of phone calls, emails, letters, faxes, visits, etc.

It is something we are working on though.

Coverage of the 'border areas' is a difficult one too - we do try to be fairly strict about it otherwise every organisation in the whole of Southwark and Lambeth starts demanding coverage. However, today's SE1 Direct actually featured two events in SE11 - the West Square event and the Friends of Archbishops Park AGM - so we are prepared to be flexible where it makes sense.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Monday 2 August 2004 10.04am
James, just read the Acorn Homes article. In it it says, "Over 70% of the properties available, (36 apartments out of the total 52) will fall into this low stamp duty pricing band."

I've just checked their website, and only three of the apartments cost 250,000; the majority of the remainder fall into the second highest stamp-duty band, for properties over 250,000 but not more than 500,000, with a rate of 3%.

Monday 2 August 2004 10.42am

i clocked that as well - in fact even their initial claim is wrong - 36 out of 52 is not 'over 70%' but is in fact 69%
Tuesday 3 August 2004 7.36pm
Many thanks for pointing this out. I have removed the erroneous claims.

In fairness to Acorn, I was sent two press releases by different people at their PR company and the more recent of the two omits the claim about stamp duty.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Wednesday 4 August 2004 4.06pm

they have also been nice enough to sponsor steve hollingshead's exhibition too.

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