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Editor responds to ‘discontent’ over power adverts

regional editor has defended his newspaper following claims that adverts in the paper for an energy company run counter to a campaign led by the title.

The Powys and County Times carried two and a half pages of windfarm advertising from Scottish Power on the same day they berated the company on the front page.

David Williams, founder of rival community website MyWelshpool said this had led to feelings of discontent from campaigners.

“One campaigner told me it would be like a farmer complaining about the wind turbines and then allowing them on his land,” he told HTFP.

Added David:  “While papers, like the County Times do a great job campaigning against the plans, a few pages in and you see they are making thousands of pounds in advertising from them also.

“In these tough times of falling sales and dropping revenue, these energy companies are certainly helping to pay the wages at the local newspapers.”

In response, editor Nick Knight said the editorial department could not dictate what adverts went in the paper.

Said Nick: “Scottish Power are  quite within their rights to advertise their plans for the area through our paper as we are seen as the forum for debate on major public issues throughout the region.

“They are perfectly entitled to do this in adverts providing they adhere to the advertising standards.

“They would also be doing this in the knowledge that the main editorial campaign of the newspaper disagreed with their perspective. Readers are perfectly aware I’m sure that an advert is the paid-for view of the customer.

“An objective editorial campaign is something else – the voice of the paper, but I see no issue in both sitting side by in a newspaper where all views are presented.

“The approval – or otherwise – of legitimate adverts based on the editorial perspective of the title would be nonsense.”

Nick added that the paper had also carried adverts from groups opposed to the scheme, as well as editorial from both sides.

The paper recently presented a petition against the windfarm plans to Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones.

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  • June 29, 2011 at 9:46 am

    This sounds like troublemaking by a rival. It is surely a sign of editorial integrity to criticise someone who is advertising in your title. Would mywelshpool prefer that editorial policy was dictated by the advertisers? Well done to the newspaper for doing things right and having a newspaper which a company feels it has to advertise in regardless of editorial stance.

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