The BBC and Ibrox have “resolved their dispute” this morning, a dispute that has been going on for ages and which kept the broadcaster from working at the ground on match days.
Not a single BBC listener has been materially inconvenienced by this, except for those who follow the club and most of them have been all for banning their journalists anyway.
This dispute was always going to be resolve eventually.
Ibrox, at some point, would have started acting in a saner and more rational manner, or so the theory goes anyway. Instead of waiting for that, the BBC moved first to bury the hatchet.
Again, this would not have been a great shock had it been done behind the scenes and kept there.
Instead, stunningly, the BBC has issued a grovelling – there is no other word for it – statement which has subjected the organisation and its journalists to a staggering humiliation.
“The BBC is committed to reporting the Scottish Premiership fully and fairly across all clubs. However, it recognises that the club has genuine concerns about the accuracy and balance of some coverage. The BBC acknowledges that there have been occasions when parts of the coverage of Rangers FC have not met its editorial standards. It has apologised for those instances and is happy to repeat those apologies now. We now look forward to a positive ongoing relationship with the club.”
The BBC is saying “yeah, at times we’ve been biased against Ibrox.”
Are you kidding me or what?
No club has had an easier, on freer, ride from the national broadcaster.
Or, indeed, the media as a whole.
The BBC is where ex-Ibrox players go to do PR for their club. How many of its senior journalists have pro-Ibrox leanings? Kenny McIntyre now runs the sports department there, and he’s a self-confessed Ibrox fan.
If this is his first step in moving forward, you can tell how bad the rest of it is going to be.
If I was a BBC journalist who valued my independence I’d be concerned, especially with the tone of that public statement, which is an epic embarrassment. This is particularly true in that Ibrox fan media sites are claiming that McLaughlin will still not be allowed to set foot in the ground. If that’s true the BBC has rolled over all the way.
Every journalist who works under McIntyre has just been put on notice; do not criticise their club or it’s you who will pay the consequences. That club has just bent the national broadcaster to its will, like some petty tyrant exerting control over the media.
I am appalled this lesson still isn’t getting through to people; the media is already paying Ibrox to attend press conferences. The SPFL has already bent for them and is allowing them to opt out of commercial contracts ….
At what point do people stop and realise that feeding this monster only makes it more aggressive and prone to bite? At what point do they stop pandering to this lot, who thrive on weakness, and act robustly?
None of the outlets which attend Ibrox could be rightly called “independent” when they are paying for access … the club itself spitefully refers to them as “official partners”, which doesn’t even hide the power dynamics of the relationship.
And before the rest of the “official partners” sneer at the broadcaster, don’t even bother.
Your own balls are in the same mason jar as McIntyre’s, whether you like it or not.
If Celtic instigated a similar policy the blogs would be outraged at the clear violation of the relationship … you lot are kidding yourselves on to pretend you are special.
You are gushing fan-boys, paying to ask questions and have access our sites get from our club for free, and because we’re not doing so we know that we’re free to write whatever we want. Don’t kid yourselves that you have any such rights.
“Welcome to the Ibrox press room … leave your cheque along with your credibility at the door before entry.”
Ibrox continues to ride roughshod over whoever it wants.
The media is on its knees.
The governing body is on its knees.
If we hadn’t just slapped them off the title podium and confirmed ourselves as the biggest club in the country you would think that they were the only team in Scotland who mattered.
Bhoys and ghirls, what a season lies in front of us, and as a good colleague of mine in the blogosphere warned Ange at his very first fan presser, amongst that lot we have no friends. The ranks of the Scottish press are filled to the rafters with the allies of Ibrox … or those whose bosses have pledged fealty and kissed the ring.
It amounts to the same thing in the end.