Just the other day, we had a story about how Liel Abada had turned down yet another contract offer from Celtic, and this meant he was probably heading out of the club this summer. That story, like so many others which finds its way into the mainstream press, turned out to be nonsense. It turned out to be either a work of fiction or bad information.
It is difficult to separate the two, and since the mainstream media no longer bothers to even try, the question arises; why should we make the distinction? The sporting press here either publishes what it knows to be false information or it is too lazy to provide us with accurate stuff. Either way, it’s a pretty damning indictment of the profession now.
I’ve been doing this job for a little more than ten years now. It’s a long time, but not so long that I don’t remember what it was like at the start. Not so long that I don’t remember fifteen and even twenty years back when there was no fan media and no Internet Bampots. I remember when the sports journalists in this country still had weight and could still influence events.
More than that, I remember that every outlet took pride in its own achievements. Every outlet was in the business of scooping the others, and they made sure that their “rivals” knew it when they beat them to a story. They also pulverised them for getting stuff wrong.
I remember more than one back-page headline in The Record or The Sun trashing the other paper for blowing a big story. Those were the days when, at the very least, these outlets had professional standards and … well, they kept each other honest.
Now they steal articles from each other, quote each other, and never bother to check whether the information they are publishing is accurate or not. These people have no real idea what’s happening inside our club. Unless we’re spoon-feeding them stories they are nowhere.