It’ll be worth watching the website of Petts Wood-based local freesheet the News Shopper like a hawk in the next couple of weeks. Its publisher, Newsquest – which also produces the neighbouring South London Guardian series – has accepted advertising from the British National Party on several of its websites across England, including titles in the West Midlands and Essex. The websites concerned cover include areas where the BNP has had some support in the past, like the Black Country and southern Essex. The News Shopper’s vast editorial area includes Swanley, where a BNP member was elected to Sevenoaks Council earlier this year.
Newsquest’s decision clearly undermines the firm’s journalists, who are paid dismal wages by the ailing company – owned by aptly-named US firm Gannett – and ruins the credibility of its websites. I hope those ads don’t appear on the News Shopper site – currently dishing up ads for garden centres and double glazing – and are removed from its sites elsewhere. No newspaper group should ever take money from people like that.
(See also: Tory Troll)