An app for Redbridge Life

Magazines and newspapers published by councils are still a topic of controversy, with the government aim to crack down further on them. The government believes they are often used for council propaganda, and can be unfair competition for local newspapers.

Some boroughs are insisting on publishing, however, saying that they are a useful form of communication with their residents.

When the new restrictions were applied, Redbridge reduced the frequency of its newspaper Redbridge Life, and now prints and distributes it just four times a year. Each copy costs 10p per house, and the council says 65% of residents read it, with more than a third saying it was “their main source of information about the Borough”.

The council has now launched an iPad app for the newspaper – and is one of the first councils to have done so. Though development costs of apps can be high, distribution of material is much cheaper. Whether it will reach a significant audience remains to be seen, but other councils will no doubt be watching to see if it is a success.

4 thoughts on “An app for Redbridge Life”

  1. See Labour are still printing Redbridge Life a waste of money you see it on the pavements and bins never opened. Come on Labour get rid of it NOW, could pay for the Christmas Tree on The Green

  2. This is a monumentally bad (but potentially very funny) idea on the council’s part and shows how poorly thought through this was. These ‘newspapers’ wouldn’t be out of place in Bejing, but in London, in 2014? They’re nothing but smug council propaganda pure and simple, and a shocking waste of money. We’ve just moved to Greenwich and the one here is just the same. Someone’s raking it in at Old Rope Publishers. I love their claim that 65% of households read it. I wonder what %age of iTunes users have listened to that U2 album (no, me neither), but with the launch of an iPad, I suspect they’ll be hoisted by their own petard. By going out to the market place – specifically app stores, they’re asking for downloads from people who probably never read their paper, i.e. Anyone With Nothing Better To Do. Hmm, let’s think, you’re on the tube stuck in a tunnel, Angry Birds or Redbridge Life…..?

    Someone in Redbridge should chuck in a FOI request on the cost of producing and maintaining the app as I did with the paper last year (it’s about 3 Christmas trees per issue if you’re wondering). In the meantime put in another FOI asking how many downloads they’ve had per quarter since launch in the first year. I suspect those download figures which will actually show the true ‘demand’ for their pointless rag.

    Aside from council employees and their families being asked to download to get the numbers up, i’d be surprised if in a year’s time they have even half the number of downloads (read subscribers) as Wansteadium (impartial, actually interesting local news people actually want to read). And Wansteadium surely isn’t the only hyperlocal blog in Redbridge which will further make their figures look ridiculous.

    If there’s anyone from the council reading this I have a question: Where’s your app to report your rubbish hasn’t been collected/a streetlight is defective/there’s a pothole that needs fixing/library opening times/school closures/something that might actually be useful?) What’s that? It would be more work and therefore more money that you don’t have? Hmm, if only there was somewhere where you could get that money from…

  3. The only one time I have ever consulted my free Redbridge paper , I subsequently determined that the piece of info I wanted, whilst presented in 56 different languages, was in fact factually inaccurate.

    Get rid of it.

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