The documents reveal that the DWP monitors and analyses both mainstream and social media to reduce and manage negative coverage.
And even more worryingly, the documents show the DWP have managed to kill hundreds of stories by making sure that they are not reported on.
Almost every month since March 2014 the DWP communications team has produced “Media Evaluation Reports” detailing the ways and methods that the DWP controls negative stories about them in the media.
The DWP refused to release the reports since the Disability News Service (DNS) originally requested them in September 2015 stating they were “commercially sensitive”.
Finally after a struggle that took over a year, and a complaint by the DNS to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) the documents have finally been released.
The reports show that on a nearly monthly basis from March 2014 to September 2015 the DWP “spiked” (persuaded journalists not to run) a total of 385 stories.
The highest month for spiked stories was June 2015 when the department managed to successfully kill a massive 46 negative stories.