Blackburn hails its TV coverage

Allowing a camera crew to film a reality TV programme about its staff has bolstered its image, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has claimed.

Some 389 of the council’s 1,100-member citizens’ panel was quizzed after the six-week series Are You Being Serviced? was aired on Granada starting on 16 October 2003. And of the 55 per cent of those who watched it, 23 per cent said their opinion of council staff had improved.

Although 76 per cent were unchanged, and one per cent had a worse opinion, ‘if you’ve changed the views of a fifth of people, that’s not bad is it?’ said council chief executive Phil Watson.

‘And the more anecdotal responses were very positive,’ he continued.

‘One of the main reasons for exposing ourselves to media coverage without editorial control was that we wanted people to judge us on how we were, not on past prejudices. Results were very good,’ said Watson.

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