News story

Right to report: 10 things to know

Ten things to know about how the new 'right to report' allows press and public to film, tweet and blog council meetings.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Town hall

1. Margaret Thatcher first gave newspapers right to report

In 1960, as a backbencher Mrs Thatcher tabled a Private Members’ Bill to allow reporters to make written reports of council meetings.


2. Right to report modernised

We updated these analogue rights for the digital age so you can film and digitally report via social media in real time.

3. Right to report extended to citizens

Citizens as well as journalists can now scrutinise the good work of all local government bodies.

Crowd of people.

4. Local democracy in action

All council and parish meetings are open to the public – 28 days notice must now be given for closed cabinet sessions.

5. Let your friends know

You can use Twitter, Facebook, blog, YouTube or any social media app to report on the goings on of your council.

6. Councillors tweet too

Follow them and join the conversation to find out what they are doing for you.

7. Find out about big local decisions first

From public spending, to road works to planning permissions, many local decisions affecting you are taken at council meetings.

8. No hidden agendas

You have the right to see the agendas and papers that councillors get for their meetings.

9. Keep an eye on spending

You can inspect your authority’s spending and salaries of senior staff thanks to the government’s transparency code.

Local government spending

10. Find out more

Read all about the new rules in our plain English guide.

Join the conversation on your #RightToReport on Twitter

Published 8 August 2014