I had very little interest in what former Rangers player Kirk Broadfoot did or said in a match against Wigan recently, I didn’t even know he was still in the game. What makes him newsworthy (to some) today is a 10 match ban, handed down by The FA in England, for what was reportedly sectarian abuse.
What I found galling is how Mirror Group Newspapers reported this story. The Mirror wrote:
“Kirk Broadfoot has been handed a staggering 10-game ban for a sectarian tirade against James McClean.
The Rotherham and former Scotland defender will have to serve what is believed to be the longest ban for verbal abuse in English football history.”
Its Scottish sister paper the Daily Record reproduced the same text with one edit:
“Kirk Broadfoot has been handed a staggering 10-game ban for launching a verbal tirade against James McClean.
The former Scotland and Rangers defender will have to serve what is believed to be the longest ban for verbal abuse in English football history.”
The italics are mine. For reasons which don’t surprise me, the biggest selling Scottish newspaper decided it was unwise to report that a former Rangers player received a huge ban for sectarian abuse. In 2015.
When Celtic Quick News started 11 years ago a couple of newspapers and radio stations pretty much controlled the news, politics and sports reporting in Scotland. The journos all worked together; this was a real cabal. If they wanted to blacken the name of a Fergus McCann, or his like, droves of people quickly turned away from him.
CQN started because reporting like this was rife and unchecked. I know the value of the new “citizen” media, but I also know its limits. We need newspapers, we need people to continue to buy them and we need them to find a viable business model. Without them, reporting which requires considerable resource, experience and, occasionally, money, will not happen.
Most of all, we need them to stop cutting their own throat.
I’m off to Aberdour today, for the 12th CQN Golf Charity Open, not that I’m a golfer, of course. See you there.