Three good reasons to boycott the Nottingham Post

by , August 27, 2013
  • The Post is still, in part, owned by the Daily Mail General Trust, publisher of the hate-spewing, smut-peddling rag of the same name. The Northcliffe group of local newspapers was sold in November of last year to Local World Ltd, but DMGT acquired a 39% stake in Local World as part of the deal.
  • Since the financial crisis of 2007, dozens of staff at the Post and thousands across the whole of Northcliffe have been made redundant, while profits for DMGT have remained strong. Before the sale to Local World, Northcliffe’s profits were up 50% to £26m while 320 people lost their jobs in the same financial year. The redundancies have also seen the group centralise areas of the publishing process, such as sub-editing and printing, meaning jobs have left the areas being covered by the group’s papers while their front pages carried the slogan ‘At the heart of all things local’.
  • The Post’s recently launched website is, like it’s predecessor at, a nightmare of garish adverts, videos that play of their own volition and irrelevant content harvested from the tackiest corners of the web. This is not only incredibly irritating, it is also bad news for anyone whose internet access is limited by time, cost or download limits as a typical page consists of 3.2MB of data (compared to around 950KB for this page, for instance).

So, if you were looking around for reasons to fall out with the Nottingham Post, one or more of these (depending on your political persuasion and geekiness, I suppose) might well do as a justification. I’m not saying you should boycott the paper, just if you were going to, there would be some cause.

Now, for some balance…

Three terrible reasons to boycott the Nottingham Post

  • Because you believe they have ‘made-up’ stories. By formally blocking interview access, Billy Davies has in fact made it more likely that the Post will have to ‘make up’ their stories, as he puts it. This article about Forest’s preparing to ‘revive their interest in Wes Morgan’ is a classic case of a paper putting two and two together to fill column space. Newspaper reporters usually seek comment from those they are planning to write about and journalistic ethics oblige them to balance a piece with these quotes. If the Post honestly believe Forest are still trying to sign Morgan and that’s not the case, a few words from the manager would surely save us all having to read such speculative drivel.
  • Because you believe they have been negative towards you. Sadly negativity is just the nature of the press, always has been and always will. Nothing travels faster than bad news, particularly bad news on the front page of a newspaper. It’s probably true that during Billy’s first reign there was something a smear campaign against him, what he spoke of as ‘dark forces’, with stories begin engineered by parties unknown of him not attending training, clashing with board members and flirting with bigger clubs north of the border. But the press will always dig for dirt and chuck it around if they find any. The best solution is to face them with dignity, make sure your side of the story gets told and let the reader use their intelligence to draw conclusions. Clearly any baseless smear campaign first time around did little to damage Billy’s popularity with the fans, so why should it in the future?
  • Because you like to create a ‘siege mentality’. Blocking access to something as trivial as post-match interviews is surely only going to do one thing: make the coverage even more hostile. When you are top of the league, you’ll probably get away with it because the fans are happy. But the Post know they can easily stir up discontent and only need to bide their time until a bad run of form. Now the club have made a formal statement of intent about their relationship with the Post and other local media, what’s holding them back from sticking the knife in at the first opportunity? It’s already started – it’s surely no coincidence that on Saturday the Daily Mail ran a small column alleging that de facto CEO Jim Price ‘may not have passed the Football League’s owners and directors test’. You should always keep your enemies close, especially when your enemies have such powerful friends.

Billy Davies is clearly a complex character and his fascinating psychology is one of the reasons I like him being our manager, but that psychology is no fun when he’s not speaking to anyone. As he isolates himself from the outside world, his paranoia is becoming increasingly Shakespearean and he sees enemies everywhere. I’ll let you guess who might be Iago to his Othello, though as the tragedy goes on even the divine Natalie Jackson might find herself playing Desdemona. Whatever the respective roles, the props department are already preparing for the inevitable blood-bath in the last act.

Othello, of course, was a great – if controversial – warrior but became consumed by his mistrust of others. After smothering his lover he ends up turning a knife on himself as he realises his awful folly. I can’t see any sensible reasons for Billy making such an enemy of the city’s main newspaper, or any positive outcomes, so he could well be stabbing himself further down the line – if the Post don’t do it first, of course.