It's easy for journalists to overlook the number of great news stories to be found hidden in figures: surveys, company reports, government information and, of course, MPs expenses.
Perhaps this explains why it took a Freedom of Information Act (FoI) request from the Travelodge hotel chain to find out the amount of money being spent on hotels by the London Metropolitan Police. Great PR spin for Travelodge and a story that the London Evening Standard picked up, reporting:
"The figures were disclosed in a freedom of information request by the hotel chain. This followed the admission from the chairman of Essex Police Authority, Robert Chambers, that his force could recruit an extra 600 officers if staff used lowbudget accommodation rather than more expensive hotels."
The Press Association demonstrated how to do it well with another FoI story, this time about MPs oustanding food and drink bills at the House of Commons
Some of the best stories still result from a bit of digging and lateral-thinking. Come on, let's have even more well thought-out investigations into companies, government bodies, councils and quangos.
Monday, 28 September 2009
Monday, 29 June 2009
Those nice people at liGo Electronics have sent me an e-mail about a piece of kit I purchased from them via Amazon.
It says: "Thank you for placing your recent order with liGo on Amazon, we certainly appreciate your custom. We are newly trading on Amazon and would welcome any feedback that you may have. We hope that you’ve been satisfied with the level of service you have received from liGo and would consider using us again."
Good so far.
It continues: "We would very much appreciate it if you would be kind enough to place a positive review for liGo on Amazon. These have a great bearing on our business and as such mean a lot to us.
"By way of a thank you, we would like to provide you with a £5 voucher to use on our web site."
Sorry liGo. I'm happy to write honest comments about purchases without being paid. It's polite e-mail, but this offer makes me feel a bit less positive about things.
Have you received this type of communication?