Saturday, February 06, 2010

Caledonian is calling me

Scotland's first online newspaper, the Caledonian Mercury, has launched offering a different national perspective to that of The Scotsman or The Herald.

There's an excellent review by Craig McGill on Contently Managed that pretty much covers everything that needs to be said.

The Sport section is covered by former Sunday Times Scotland scribe Richard Wilson and, although still finding it's feet, it is well worth a look especially for the insightful profiles of Walter Smith, Craig Levein and Jim Jefferies.

What it's not doing is give up to the minute reports but for those of us subjected to The Scotsman website over the years the arrival of a nice looking site carrying decent analysis is more than welcome.

The Caledonian Mercury, students of newspaper history and nerds like me will recognise that the name has been resurrected from one of the first Scottish newspapers, is the brainchild of former Scotsman web supremo Stewart Kirkpatrick.

And, as Rupert Murdoch would tell you, if you own your own newspaper you can take a few liberties. Kirkpatrick has taken this lesson to heart with a tongue firmly in cheek account of Jim Jefferies' return to Tynecastle.

Writing as a diehard Hibs fans Kirkpatrick notes:
Strewth, am I glad to see the back of Csaba László. Intelligent, insightful, strong minded and capable of independent thought, he was precisely the kind of manager you do not want your city rivals to have. I haven’t felt this relieved since George Burley got his jotters from Vladimir Romanov.

However, I am very comfortable with Jim Jefferies and not just because he was picked up out of the bargain bucket after being rejected by Killie.

Jim Jefferies is every Hibee’s favourite Jambo for three very good reasons.

He was, lest we forget, captain of the Hearts team that strode out onto their home pitch on 1 January, 1973, innocently unaware they were about to make history. I wonder what went through his mind as the seventh Hibs goal went in? (Interestingly, the Hearts mascot that day was one Darren Jackson.)
Unsurprisingly this raised a few hackles and the comments board has been going back and forth between the gloating greens and the maddened maroons (note to internet comment contributors: an article offering an argument that you disagree with is not by definition badly written) and, refreshingly, the editor has given former Planet Hearts boss Shaun Milne the right of reply. Together their pieces offer a nice snapshot of fandom in the capital.

So early days for the Caledonian Mercury but a warm welcome all the same. More of Wilson's insight with a touch more of the biased opinion pieces should make it quite a refreshing addition to the Scottish football media.