A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Reaching the audiences that matter most

If I was advising a Deputy Leadership contender I would be telling them to remember not just to get coverage in the publications read by Labour activists: the Guardian, the Indie, the Observer, New Statesman, Tribune, the Mirror, but also those read by rank-and-file trade union members - other tabloid papers, trade press for particular jobs that are heavily unionised, in-house union journals etc.

Hilary Benn is interviewed today in that well-known organ of the British centre-left, the Financial Times. Which must be read by at least a dozen people with votes in the deputy leadership election.


Anonymous Tim said...

In fairness, it backed Labour (because of Ed Balls, adnmittedly) in 1992 - and I have a suspicion it was the only paper to do so.

11:32 am, February 14, 2007

Anonymous observer's mate said...

Wrong! During my many years working on the factory floor I knew of many other trade union activists who, like me, avidly read the FT. When asked, some would say: "keep your friends close, your enemy closer", others: "the FT, along with the Morning Star, are the only newspapers written by journalists who have an understanding of dialectic materialism".

Sometimes the FT's opinion-based "editor's" column has backed Labour, sometimes it's backed the Tories, but the main editorial material in the FT never insults its reader with party political bias.

Do you know of one single daily publication which has consistently had a half-page (a real half-page, none of this silly tabloid stuff) dedicated to "labour"? The FT probably devotes more column inches to labour relations and trade union activities than any other newspaper in the UK (with the exception of the Morning Star).

And while each copy of the Morning Star is probably read by one reader, (i.e. the purchaser, who furtively hides it in the middle of his Daily Mirror) - each copy of the FT is frequently cut up and the relevant section photocopied, then read by approximately 25 people.

Luke, mate, you've a very jaundiced view of the working class!

11:51 am, February 14, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's easier to buy hard core Danish pornography than the Financial Times where I'm from.

11:56 am, February 14, 2007

Blogger Adele said...

The FT is the only paper with no political bias

12:09 pm, February 14, 2007

Anonymous David said...

One of their writers, Alan Beattie, is ex an Labour party slate sabbatical...

I suspect the FT is probably more favourable to the left than you'd first imagine

2:54 pm, February 14, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I like the FT (have to read it at work) and yes Alan B was a contemporary of mine in NOLS, I'm not questioning that it is editorially pro-new Labour, it's just an odd place to place an interview re. the DL election as its readership is small and unlikely to have votes in the contest.

3:06 pm, February 14, 2007

Blogger HenryG said...

Peter Hain had a less than fortunate interview in the Daily Mail before Christmas. Arguably even fewer readers from the movement read the Mail - though as The Daily point out, maybe this was a good thing:


4:23 pm, February 14, 2007

Blogger Dave said...

Luke, get with the programme. All good New Labourites should read the FT, if only to work out who might be in the market for a peerage.

Personally I think it is Britain's only serious newspaper. The industrial coverage is without equal.

And with a circulation of around 200,000, I'd far rather place a profile in the Pink 'Un then in get a write-up in Tribune, NS and Morning Star - combined circulation 50,000 at an extremely generous estimate.

7:35 pm, February 15, 2007

Anonymous observer's mate said...

My goodness, have we reached a point where we all agree on something?

3:40 am, February 17, 2007


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