2011 June

When the popular media makes your job harder


Local councils and the environment department (DEFRA) have faced unhelpful criticism from the parts of the popular press who want to tell us how to manage our domestic waste. DEFRA’s waste review this week met with front page headlines in the Daily Mail decrying that every house would have to have a “slop bucket” to recycle food waste.

The Daily Express agreed that the government had given up the idea of having weekly waste collections for all households.

But how can councils lead a debate on the best way to handle waste with such overbearing criticism from parts of the media that have little appetite to discuss what’s needed or consider the major green gains from recycling more food waste? (more…)


Ducking the news isn’t sustainable for DEFRA


One remarkable feature of the government’s much anticipated environment white paper, out yesterday, was how unremarkable nearly all of the national media found it.

The first such document in 21 years, with some big, bold, interesting plans in it, got relatively tiny amounts of broadcast and print coverage. (Our next issue will give you four pages to chew over, in print or online.)

Why the hush? Well, it was a fairly busy news day, and the environment is not riding particularly high in the UK news agenda in 2011. Rising domestic energy prices are a much bigger story.

But there was another reason for the dearth of coverage: the environment department (DEFRA) appeared to want it that way. (more…)

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