I was forced to pass this one up due to other commitments, but the symbolism of it is still very potent when you consider goings on elsewhere.
Last night, I did a piece on how how Kevin McKenna had written a wonderful article supporting the fan media.
Part of that article urged our press corps to think of the appalling optics of their adopting a policy of paying Ibrox for the “privilege” of attending media events, as if those events were a one-way street that only one party benefits from.
Still, no outlet has taken a public stance against this policy.
It is madness when you consider that the very exclusives they are going to be charged for are available to Celtic fan sites now absolutely free.
Amongst the “selling points” of the Ibrox media “offer” are an exclusive sit down with the manager and a number of interviews with players.
Celtic fan media now gets exclusive interviews with players as a matter of routine.
Dominic McKay and the PR department have promised access to the top people at the club.
This is the deal the media is being asked to pay for, and we’re not getting charged a dime.
Furthermore, the club is well aware that Celtic fan media outlets will not simply toe any party line; our work is based on our love for the club, and if we feel the club is being short-changed, even by those running it, we’re going to say so. So nothing is restricted either.
This is precisely why Celtic fan media’s new relationship with the club is so important and why it changes the ground up here. The value of this relationship is in the way the club treats the fan media with respect.
The contrast between that and how the club across the city treats the mainstream press could not be starker or more hellish for them.
This is a Rubicon moment for the press here.
I remember when STV entered into a “commercial contract” with Rangers way back when that club played in the SPL.
Their own journalists were furious, because they understood what the written media apparently hasn’t got its heads around yet; you can’t be in bed with the people you’re supposed to be covering.
The minute you accept conditions it’s over.
The moment you start treating this stuff as a privilege and not an integral part of the job it’s over.
The first time a media organisation writes a cheque to Ibrox in order for its journalists to be able to do their jobs then the whole ball is up on the slates and the party is over. It’s time these people grew some spine.