GREEN Party mayoral candidate Sian Berry said this week she’d like to see local papers in tube station dispensers, giving more choice to the captive audience held by the Metro on the tube each morning. Metro, of course, shells out a bob or two to lock down the train and bus network and presumably Transport for London would get less money in if it could not offer this exclusive stranglehold. There is also a difference opinion among local newspapers about the sense of handing out their papers to a moving, more throwaway audience at stations rather than concentrating on people in their core neighbourhoods, who are more likely to read and respond to their articles and adverts. But sounding a little fatigued from competing with more clickable celebrities, Berry sounds a note of disappointment in an interview with the CNJ today about how London’s media has apparently changed since she last ran for Mayor eight years ago, claiming it is now harder to get policy stories into newspapers ahead of ones about personality.
“Compared with 2008, the media landscape is very contracted because we had the London Paper as well as the Standard, that was doing the afternoons. It was a Murdoch paper but it was actually quite independent and quite good,” she said. “Then in the mornings, Metro, which isn’t really a London paper any more, was covering a lot more London stuff. Now it’s kind of international gossip. It’s not really news in the Metro any more. So the actual number of outlets for our stories is restricted to the Standard and the space for me, and [Lib Dem candidate] Caroline Pidgeon, has actually gone down in recent weeks. So we’ve announced some really good policies like spending a billion pounds on cycling and it’s not made it into the Standard because they’ve devoted a whole page to going along with the Tories.”