Ah, the wonders of Google! Just when you're searching for something else, it throws up a priceless artefact which not even Channel 4's Time Team could uncover.
PR Week is not normally on my reading list, for obvious reasons, but it featured the Oldham Echo at the back end of 2007 (http://www.prweek.com/uk/news/search/771515/MEDIA-ANALYSIS-pays-listen-carefully-Echo/ ).
It began memorably:
"It is the Scousers' answer to The Sun. Large-type headlines leap out from each page of the Liverpool [sic] Echo, announcing the latest news and celebrity gossip from Liverpool and Merseyside."
Some testimonial, eh?
The piece spoke of the Echo's two daily editions flying off the newsstands. Well, this is PR Week, after all.
And there's more. Consider this delightful snippet:
"The Echo's readership is, as editor Alastair Machray puts it, 'the broad rump of ordinary people who are making a living for themselves'. "
Broad rump? Charming, Alastair.
The piece gave a revealing glimpse into the world of press releases masquerading as news, how to approach certain Echo scribes with a glorified ad & the cosy arrangement between hacks & celebrities' agents.
The penultimate paragraph of the PR Week article cautioned:
"A final obvious, but crucial, point to remember is that the Echo focuses on the local angle. 'We purge national and generic stories from the paper. We may find a place for a really big national story, but it would not go on the front page,' says Machray. 'If people want national news, they will go to national papers.' "
Clearly, Oldham Hall Street is somewhat confused about the role of its publication. After all, it was only a year-and-a-half later that it announced the Echo would be appearing in the mornings from October of this year in order to "compete with the nationals", as a Trinity Mirror suit put it (http://condensedthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/07/fading-echos.html ).
Still, at least it can now take a bow, having demonstrated to the PR luvvies its similarity to Murdoch's rag. It's some accolade, isn't it, Alastair?