For the benefit of at least one local blogger, who insists, with a complete disregard for the facts, that the local council is 'censoring' its news releases, here's a link to Thanet District Council's Twitter feed, which pushes these out to the public as they appear.
Many organisations are now turning to Twitter's social media and news publishing capability rather than maintaining email lists because it's much more efficient and those lists don't need to be constantly cleaned as people move companies and change jobs. So if you happen to want news, whether it be BBC SE news or even Thanet District Council's local news, then like me, you simply add it to your Twitter subscriptions and the information, photos, news and links, arrive automatically on the iphone, iPad, PC or whatever other internet device you might be using.
Thanet Blog list aggregator, you'll notice that Thanet does have rather a large number of blogs. These include a highly eclectic and often imaginative mix of daft conspiracy theories, cats, photos of naked ladies, local gay interest, Real Ale (very important) and even bus driving.
I'm in there somewhere along with everyone else that 'blogs' either occasionally, regularly, compulsively or even obsessively and most of these see no reason to demand 'special' treatment from the local council or indeed the need to issue a stream of expensive, occasionally frivolous and often time consuming FOI requests, that cost the local taxpayer money. Indeed, if someone sent in such a request wishing to know how much these cost by individual, over the course of a year, local people might be unpleasantly surprised.
Now, some of us blog occasionally outside of work and others have rather more time on their hands and see blogging as a hobby, which encourages the investigative citizen journalist concealed in their personality and burning desire to hold local government to account. That's not such a bad thing in an open democracy but only, I would say, when there's a sensible balance and a level of accountability and responsibility achieved on the part of the blogger.
I wrote before that the press has a code of conduct and like News International remains accountable. Bloggers do not and invariably allow personal opinion and bias to shape their thoughts in such a way that the result can be uninformed and occasionally scurrilous rubbish dressed as fact. In Thanet, we have rather too much of this although the number of blogs that have served this kind of material to the public have diminished sharply over the last two years.
Government, both local and national, is working increasingly hard to encourage transparency and publish information on a timely basis and it's using social media and the internet to help achieve this. Personally speaking, I can't see as a blogger, why I might deserve some intimate relationship with local government, just because I've found a few minutes to knock-up a quick editorial on a Sunday afternoon, particularly as I'm under no obligation to report the facts correctly or even abide by important little statements like 'Off the record.'
So let's hear no more of these angry complaints that some local bloggers are more special and deserve greater media privileges than other local bloggers. People choose what they wish to read and what they wish to think about any subject and on my part, 10,000 or so page views each month doesn't put me up there with the Sun or even the Thanet Gazette I suspect!