DIARY: In-Spire-d answers at Wiltshire County Council

For those seeking to make their name in journalism, it is essential

to master the art of concocting plausible excuses for failure to cover

news stories.

Inevitably, 'my dog ate it' will take preference to 'the story was too

boring' or 'couldn't be bothered'. A hearty round of applause, then, for

Wiltshire-based Spire FM, which deemed the county 'too rural' for its

radio hacks to cover the activities of the county council.

Wiltshire, which is presumably devoid of roads, was apparently too big a

patch for Spire FM to waste its resources on sending reporters out and

about around the county.

Therefore canny Wiltshire County Council (WCC) engineered a solution:

providing Spire FM with audio news releases of briefings and its


WCC head of communications Sian Penlington described the initiative as

better than 'getting annoyed' about Spire's inability to make the

one-hour drive from its Salisbury HQ to WCC's Trowbridge base.

The scheme seems to have worked. WCC now reports a healthy rise in news

coverage, and plans to put the service online later this year. Back to

the drawing board with the excuses, then.

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