Sunday, November 12, 2006

It pays to read the fine print

The 17 October edition of the Northcote Leader was a good one. On page one we had a nice picture of Fiona Richardson with her admittedly handsome young lad claiming in the words of the headline that she was 'no outsider' to the Northcote electorate, which she lives, let's face it, outside of. She even had some support, it seemed, from at least one local resident, who, in a letter to the paper ('Much ado about zilch', your view, page 11), rejected the fuss made of her residing elsewhere (Regent, in fact).

As a Northcote local, Giorgia Moar had a perfect right to pen a letter in support of Ms Richardson. However, it's also pretty clear that readers (aka voters) were entitled to know but were not told of her association with electoral material distributed on Ms Richardson's behalf.

Not long after Giorgia's letter to the editor, presumably published in good faith by the paper, she both authorised and printed a Richardson flyer promoting the Labor candidate's 4 November appearance in Westgarth. I think readers deserved to know that what they were hearing was not really a local perspective, but instead the voice of the Labor Party machine. If there's an explanation for this, I think we need to hear it.

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Comments are most welcome on any of the posts at Northcote Independent. I encourage feedback - positive or negative. Feel free to disagree, but remember that posts are moderated to ensure they are on the topic and in the spirit of open debate, as outlined in my editorial policy.