Secret DWP documents prove they silenced the media from running stories they didn’t approve of – Evolve Politics

Following a 13 month battle, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have finally been forced to release secret documents illustrating the tactics they use to control and manipulate the media.

The documents reveal that the DWP monitors and analyses both mainstream and social media to reduce and manage negative coverage.

And even more worryingly, the documents show the DWP have managed to kill hundreds of stories by making sure that they are not reported on.

Almost every month since March 2014 the DWP communications team has produced “Media Evaluation Reports” detailing the ways and methods that the DWP controls negative stories about them in the media.

The DWP refused to release the reports since the Disability News Service (DNS) originally requested them in September 2015 stating they were “commercially sensitive”. 

Finally after a struggle that took over a year, and a complaint by the DNS to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) the documents have finally been released.

The reports show that on a nearly monthly basis from March 2014 to September 2015 the DWP “spiked” (persuaded journalists not to run) a total of 385 stories.

The highest month for spiked stories was June 2015 when the department managed to successfully kill a massive 46 negative stories.

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The second highest was March 2014 when the DWP terminated 44 stories.

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In August 2015 the DWP “proactively briefed” the media about long-awaited statistics which showed the amount of ESA claimants who had died after being found fit for work, and successfully spiked coverage in a range of news outlets.

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The reports confirm that the DWP considers the right-wing press to be supportive of them, and highlights cases where they have used them to “set the record straight” and further government policy.

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The reports show that the DWP closely monitors media output, and compiles a “sentiment of articles” chart every month to make sure that they receive positive coverage.

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The reports give valuable insight into a department that is unhealthily focused on the press coverage they receive.

The fact that they have managed to kill so many stories that they don’t approve of raises serious questions as to how the department is exercising its influence over the free press.

The role of journalism is to bring people the truth behind the DWP’s rhetoric, not to act as the chief mouthpiece for it.

Link : Evolve Politics.

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17 thoughts on “Secret DWP documents prove they silenced the media from running stories they didn’t approve of – Evolve Politics

  1. Hardly surprising, the DWP is an out of date dinosaur that needs culling and replacing with a fit for purpose (a dreadful phrase, but right in this instance) organisation which does away with the current benefits and pays out a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) for anyone 16 plus regardless of income.

    You would be either in work, out of work, disabled or retired, you would just move status, not benefit and it would remove the ‘nasty culture of threats and sanction’, this is YOUR money you have paid in over the years, you should get it when you need it. I used to work for the Benefits agency and was told that if you had to claim, to claim, that ‘you have paid in for it.’

    The DWP is not equipped to train people or advise in many cases, they do not know the ‘real world’ unemployment realities, they are apparently unprepared for the 9 million jobs that will be lost to automation and other situations by 2026. Clubs do not provide real business advice from real business people.

    The DWP staff is 80,000 to administer UB benefit at around £17 million, it costs £389 million to do this, from their official figures. This is NOT value for money.

    The current job market is dire with often 100 applications for each job. I know I ‘ve been looking for work for a year. I’ve applied for over 500 jobs and had 20 interviews. I am over 50 so they don’t want me and also male.

    The DWP does not provide training that might get you a real job or business skill to start a new business. BIG would give people a safety net so that they could get new skills and train, then take those forward and this would create jobs and prosperity.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:
    You cannot blame this disgrace purely on the DWP, the Government, the dirt bags who have the cheek to call themselves journalists with nice pay cheque and editors, media owners – all can take a slice of the blame. They should all be ashamed but they aren’t and won’t be, which is precisely why I can call them sleaze bags, worthless and gutless scum and a whole host of other insults and by their own actions, they cannot repudiate my verbal assault, because it’s the truth. People are dead because of their spineless inaction, what’s a few insults compared to people dying and the grief their deaths caused?
    And the media wonders why sales and opinions have taken a nose dive?

    Like

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