Almost every day I get up not knowing what I’ll write over the course.
Most of the time, I get up each morning with a clean slate and no firm plan, unless it’s a heavy news cycle and I’ve done the headlines for the pieces I intend to write the night before.
It’s rare, and usually only happens during the season proper when a ton of stuff is going on.
I have a certain sympathy, therefore, for so-called journalists in the digital age who face pressures like having to produce a certain number of articles or generate a certain amount of traffic in a given day. They face, in short, the same pressures as me.
The Evening Times used to be a quality newspaper.
It used to have great writers, even in the sports division.
The larger organisation to which it belongs, which also includes The Herald, used to pride itself on employing serious people, and craftsmen. They also employed the likes of Derek Johnstone though, so you could see they were already on the slippery slope.
That slope has taken us down into swampy waters. Darryl King and Chris Jack were but a dip in the land away from their own starring roles in the downward slide of a once proud title, and worse was to come.
Newsquest got into “blogging” last year. At least on the Celtic side of it they gave a gig to Tony Haggerty.
Aiden Smith is their “Digital sport audience and engagement editor”, whatever the Hell that means.
It’s a fancy enough title.
But based on what he’s produced today, it simply means that he cuts and pastes and writes a few words around what he finds elsewhere. I do understand the pressures, but there are things I simply won’t do.
One of them is drawing the basis of any piece from the discredited joke of a site called Transfermarkt.com, which I’ve written about already. Today Aiden Smith has built one around it, and surprise surprise it has an anti-Celtic slant.
It is awful in a way that makes your teeth itch.
“Rangers dominate Scotland’s most valuable player charts with just two Celtic stars making top 10” is what it reads, and the whole article is that bad, with Smith starting with the “Best In Scotland XI” which has five of our players in it, before going on to point out that Ibrox has eight of the top ten players with the highest valuations.
Those valuations aren’t worth a handful of Ibrox shares, as this site has said again and again.
If you believe what’s on that site you could have Jota and Abada for the price of Ryan Kent, with change left over.
Which will be why we won the title last season, presumably.
Which will be why clubs are queuing up to get Kent, as he enters the last year of his deal.
Stuff of such poor quality, stuff that reeks the way this kind of article does, dishonours a profession that once had serious people in it, writing serious things.
Honestly, this is desperate and pathetic.
School papers would once have turned up their noses at such dire offerings.
I know that these guys need content to put up every day, but there are a thousand stories out there in Scottish football and they dredge up this kind of crap again and again and again.
Smith will be quoting Football Manager valuations next.
I mean whatever else this drivel is, it’s certainly not journalism.