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Spunky Monkey
2nd Jan 2009, 15:45
Dear All
How does one go about producing an underground newspaper.
One that is happy to fly in the face of common public knowledge and the version of events given by the courts, make sure that the truth wins out.

I live in a small town that is famous for its country house. The owners of which make a small fortune from its residents and put very little back into the community. There ethics are somewhat grey.

A drink driver recently seriously injured a girl in a car crash when he had been drinking all day. Nothing as yet is in the paper. He is the son of the old money in the town.

A young thug was recently given 3 year driving ban for his 3rd drink driving escapade in 3 years. He received a 60 fine and 200hrs community service. Generally people receive a custodial sentence.

Neither of these incidents have been reported in the paper as their families know the newspaper editors.
There is a great deal of anger in the town at these abuses.

Now I realise that the courts have their own agendas and we have to be careful about influencing the courts.

However if we were able to name and shame the idiots that speed through the town, bikers who pull wheelies in residential streets. The scum that are selling drugs in the pubs, and the fatties and inconsiderate who park in disabled spaces, then we might see an improvement in the town.

Printing and writing a document would be quite easy, however getting the stories in and distributing them would be far harder.

Would premises have a symbol in their windows to sho that they are a safe house? An Icthus symbol.

The truth will out...

Capot
2nd Jan 2009, 16:41
How do you go about producing an underground newspaper, in the UK?

Just do it, of course. We still have that freedom, just, unless Gordon Brown has managed to stop it. You'll need money, but there's nothing else to stop you, so long as you print factually accurate material.

You can forget about the word "underground"; this isn't Warsaw in 1965.

Mind you, you funny old-fashioned thing, you can find thousands of them on the internet. So the answer to your question is to do what everyone else does and run your own website. It just has to be very, very good to get any readers, so good luck.

PingDit
2nd Jan 2009, 17:56
Why not open up a website for the townspeople to lodge their complaints on? You could then add a weekly editorial highlighting the biggest problems.

airborne_artist
2nd Jan 2009, 18:00
Set up yourtown.co.uk - a local forum for local people. Can't imagine you'd have much to do as a mod :E

Beatriz Fontana
2nd Jan 2009, 18:30
Oh 'eck, you need guidance, my friend.

First, the good bit. Who is your audience? Other locals? In which case, keep your newspaper small. The joys of the internet means one can blog, forum, website or newsgroup as much as one likes these days but if it's only your local population reading your efforts, you're better off producing a news sheet and hand-delivering or leaving copies around at strategic locations (local shop, the pub, etc.). A pay as you go mobile telephone that accepts incoming calls only could be your anonymous tip hotline... :}

The bad bit now - publisher beware... I have said here on this site many times before: there is no such thing as a free press. As soon as you produce information intended for a third party, then the law kicks in. Lots of people who set up websites fell foul - and still do - to libel, rights to privacy, reputation and other contemptuous matters. This applies as much to a parish newsletter as it does to the Daily Telegraph.

Let's look at what you quoted:

A drink driver recently seriously injured a girl in a car crash when he had been drinking all day. Nothing as yet is in the paper. He is the son of the old money in the town.

Has this come to court yet? If not, then it's contempt, hence why the local rag hasn't run it. If you allude to what I think you do, I'd make it very clear that it's based upon your opinion, otherwise such things are difficult to prove and could lead to libel.

A young thug was recently given 3 year driving ban for his 3rd drink driving escapade in 3 years. He received a 60 fine and 200hrs community service. Generally people receive a custodial sentence.

Not necessarily. There's all sorts of legal reasons why judges dispense the sentences that they do. Unless you know the facts, it could be libelous to suggest otherwise.

However if we were able to name and shame the idiots that speed through the town, bikers who pull wheelies in residential streets. The scum that are selling drugs in the pubs, and the fatties and inconsiderate who park in disabled spaces, then we might see an improvement in the town.

Ah, my utopia! However, as many police forces have found out, naming and shaming falls foul of many a law of the land. Even if you went "underground" with this information, you'd find yourself in front of the judge PDQ. So the newspaper idea is cracking, but beware the legal stuff. It's a long way from airing your thoughts in the pub to actually publishing them.

So what to do? Ask your local paper if they'd like an unpaid local correspondent for your area (i.e. you) and feed them stories. Get to know your parish council member and berate them over the anti-social behaviour. And get them to tell you who your community copper is whilst they're at it. For the physical stuff, try the website Fix My Street (http://www.fixmystreet.com/), a great social action website run by mysociety.org (http://www.mysociety.org/projects/). No, I don't work for them, but I do use them from time to time.

Best of luck!

Hobo
2nd Jan 2009, 20:28
Don't bother with a newspaper, do the following:-

1. Go to PC world (or ebay) and buy a 'Mr Site' software package for about 45.

2. With this package set up your own website - very easy, you can add pictures, change content etc.

3. Make sure ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING you put on the website is 100% accurate.

4. Let your local newspaper know about your website.

5. Google "(your county) Police Authority". This is the body (made up of County Councillors, Magistrates and laypersons) that the government devolves the responsibility of providing a police force to, and which, in turn, is responsible to the government of the day. It appoints your Chief Constable who is directly responsible to them for providing an efficient and correctly run Police Force.

6. Your Police Authority will meet about 12 times per year. Some (about half)of them will be public meetings which you can attend, and at which you can send written questions to the Chief Constable. He will have notice of your question, so will have had time to research it and provide an answer which he will give at the meeting. You will then have a chance to ask him a supplementary verbal question, of which he will have had no notice, and will be required to either answer there and then, or at the next meeting, or provide a written answer to you. If you are unhappy about his replies, you can go back again. You must think very carefully about the content of both questions, and think about what you are trying to achieve. You will find that the police authority staff are on your side, and will be so surprised that someone wants to actually ask a question, that they will give you every assistance. Remember they are your Police Force and exist, through your Police Authority, by your consent.

I have found this is very effective in making your possibly complacent Local Councillors, and others, sit up and take notice of what is going on in their area.

PM me if you'd like details of my website.

tony draper
2nd Jan 2009, 21:27
Bah! Underground newspaper! fluffy nonsense, cloth yerself in dark garments and a mask, aquire a razor sharp firemans axe then go out into the night and slay the feckers, dunno what this generation is coming to.:uhoh:
:rolleyes:

cockney steve
3rd Jan 2009, 00:33
love the sentiment, Mr. D, but the execution is a bit drastic:}


I heard tell of a small village in rural France-the newly -drafted "townie" Flic,found lucrative busines booking speeders on the approach-road, where 2 successive speed-limit signs(reducing the limit in2 stages) were obscured by foliage.

Mr. Draper's doppelgangers visited him one dark night, with assorted sticks and bats ...........later, he woke in a ditch on the said roadside , packed his bags and departed.

I have a real liking for the Frogs.

That aside, a fluorescent jacket, bus-driver's cap and a hair-dryer,can spoil the fun for a speeding youth,when he thinks he's just been "done"

Likewise, the knobber who drives away from the pub and impales his tyres on a row of nails driven through a strip of cardboard.....place a strip in front and behind each tyre,.......a sober driver will see them, a drunk will learn an expensive lesson.

re-websites....no need for fancy packages, Linux is free and every geek in the world is a developer...there's bound to be everything you need.

Spunky Monkey
3rd Jan 2009, 09:23
Dear All
Thnk you very much for your informative points of view.
I had seriously thought about a website, however there are several problems with it.
1. You are only really the same as the local rag and the stories are easily attacked because they havea focal point.
2. The budget is small and so if somebody takes offence to the truth being out, then legal letters will start flying.
3. As the paper will not be freely available, then it is likely to cause more of an impact.
4. we are not trying to be another long arm of the law, I just want normal people to have a say on the nonsense that goes on in the courts, police, local rag and the scum.

Life in the UK is far too controlled and being able to challenge that is something we should all be doing.

I have tried lobbying the Police through a public body organisation that I was chairperson of. What a waste of time, politically correct workshy fobs the lot of 'em.

Put a stick in the hornets nest and give it a good shake about...

PS it needs a name...

cockney steve
3rd Jan 2009, 22:21
monkey, if you're determined to start an underground paper, I'd suggest a n economical approach is to obtain a Tilley Lamp......so much cheaper than battery torches.






hat, coat.