Saturday, 1 May 2010

Spinning the figures

We reported earlier this month that A4e had published the results of its first 6 months of FND. There had been, it said, nearly 30,000 starters and 2,630 into work. It also said that the figure for "sustained" jobs was nearly 200.

Now look at how this is being spun by A4e in local papers around the country.
Hull Daily Mail: "Almost 170 long-term unemployed people in Hull have successfully secured local jobs thanks to support from welfare-to- work provider A4e."
Halesowen News: "A4e, a nationwide group with offices in Wolverhampton Street, has given support and advice to help 139 people find work in its Dudley area"
Birmingham Mail: "More than 400 long-term unemployed people in the Black Country have won jobs with local firms thanks to support and advice from welfare-to-work provider A4e"
The similarity of wording in these pieces show that they originated with A4e; none of them say how many people have taken part in this programme, nor how many of these jobs are "sustained". All genuine jobs are to be celebrated, but this is spin, not news.


  1. It should not be surprising that these 'articles' originated with A4e. And it's not all A4e's fault. Newspapers both national and local are finding it ever harder to find real news articles. They have a battle on their hand with increased web competition, a slump in sales, an ageing readership and fewer advertisers. Indeed, newspapers use articles to fill up gaps between the ads!

    With ever reduced budgets and staff numbers, most papers of course solicit news gathered from sources other than their own journalists. This could be lifted right from anther publication, a web site, a set a data from some university, stats from a think tank and so on. Such news also comes from press releases. A puff piece written by a particular business, printed on the strict basis that it does not overtly advertise products and / or services. Papers love press releases as they can fill up a third o even half a page, esp. on a slow news day.

    The above articles do seem like A4e press releases and for the reasons I gave, papers are more than happy to accept such articles. It also sadly means that the very same papers are highly unlikely to challenge any points we may disagree with!

  2. The Teflon Don1 May 2010 at 11:59

    Your right. They're just A4e press releases, that the local papers have compliantly printed.


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