Government releases spending figures for press cuttings

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The Government has spent £15.7m over the past three years monitoring media coverage and collecting press cuttings, according to figures released to the Conservatives in a series of parliamentary answers.

Whitehall departments gave millions in this period to media monitoring companies to keep track of every time key policy-related search terms were mentioned in the news. According to the Telegraph, the words included “teeth”, “gypsies” and “explosions”.

Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt described the practice as “a colossal waste of money”. Have they heard of Google News Alerts?

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