Thursday, April 15, 2010

Press box blues

Allmediascotland is covering an NUJ Scotland campaign to stop amateur's reporting on sports events:
Says a letter being sent to newspaper sports editors, 'Kick the Amateurs into Touch' aims "to maximise the number of real journalists reporting on sporting events, particularly football matches".
I'm probably a bit more relaxed than a former freelance journalist should be about all this. But life's depressing enough without getting riled by everything.

I would ask where you draw the line? A lot of low profile matches are only reported because "fans with laptops" are prepared to give up their Saturday afternoons and file reports.

Most newspaper businesses are currently cowering from a financial tsunami that makes shares in Lehman Brothers look attractive. They're simply not going to pay professional freelance rates for all their match reports. So ban the amateur and reduce the coverage. Keep the journalists happy but deny clubs much needed publicity and provide a lesser service to your already dwindling readership.

Whatever the pros and cons, I'm guessing that the NUJ Scotland could have done without a reaction like this:
Here's an idea. Why don't we kick all the tossers out of the press box who:- a) invent spurious transfer stories b) invent takeover bids for clubs that never happen c) refuse to share contact details and information with their news desks colleagues when a major sports story breaks d) cover up the appalling behaviour of their sporting buddies (golfing press take a bow!) What have these morons done to earn press cards? No wonder bloggers are putting print media out fo (sic) business. I would suggest that the essential qualification for a good sportswriter is not a press card but a sizeable pair of balls.
That's from Jack Irvine, editor turned PR guru.

Some people might consider that a fairly firm slap in the face for the mainstream media. I, of course, couldn't possibly comment.