If you missed Start the Week this morning it is well worth listening to tonight, Radio Four, 21.30. In this programme investigative journalist Heather Brooke (it was she who first uncovered the MPs' expenses scandal before the Telegraph bought the information from its infamous mole) discusses her new book The Silent State,  where she reveals the true extent of council-funded freesheets and their catastrophic effect on local journalism and thus local democracy. It is an issue we should all take heed of, not just for the sake of journalists' jobs but for the sake of independent scrutiny of local authorities' activities.


The point she makes about state subsidy versus council funded publications is spot on - who would we prefer to get our information from: subsidised papers or local government itself? There's no arguing with that, surely.

The books about animal sentience and Yemen sound fascinating, too.

How the silent nanny state is killing local journalism