Daily Ghost editor Mark Thomas will, no doubt, protest that his publication is "pro-business". So far, so obvious; it's the sort of thing any provincial editor will say.
There is, however, a distinction to be made between reporting on commerce in Liverpool & publishing PR pieces which amount to free advertising. In this regard, the Ghost has long fallen short. Matters are made more murky by the role of Larry Nield, late of the Oldham Hall Street parish, now, of course, a leading light at October Communications/Aurora Media.
Take this innocuous-looking piece in this morning's edition: http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2009/09/29/liverpool-firms-take-time-to-mingle-92534-24803757/ ).
The Liverpool law firm Hill Dickinson hosted "a networking event for 'the next generation' of city professionals."
So what, you might ask. Well, Hill Dickinson is a client of October/Aurora (http://www.octobercomms.co.uk/clients.html ).
Mutual back-scratching facilitated by an ex-Oldham Hall Street hack isn't a crime. Nor, however, is it journalism, it's PR. Mark Thomas really should do the decent thing & insert the words "advertising feature" at the top of pieces such as this.
How about it, Mark?