This is less a story about local sports news than the latest chapter in the misadventures of our local newspapers.
A couple of weeks ago, Jo Wadsworth, the one-time news editor of the Croydon Sadvertiser, posted a note on this blog (with a suitable degree of pathos, it seemed): “One small plea – try not to sneer too much at my former colleagues”.
We’ll try. Though it is always difficult to sneer when laughing loudly at the latest dropped bollock.
This morning’s lead item on the Croydon Sadvertiser‘s website’s sports section, the day after George Burley had been unveiled as Crystal Palace’s new manager (and two days after the appointment had been widely trailed, including even on this part-time blog) is: “Former boss Hart leading the race for vacant Crystal Palace manager’s job”
Now we appreciate that the Sadvertiser‘s deadline for its Friday paper is sometime on Monday afternoon (well, that might be a tad exaggerated), but how does that apply to the snoozepaper’s “website”?
Doesn’t anyone read the articles there before loading them on to the site? Silly question.
What makes the blunder all the more embarrassing for our local paper is that the website’s leading sports story sits atop four (count them!) up to date news stories about… the announcement and appointment of Burley as manager.
[UPDATE: Clearly, the Sadvertiser staff are keen readers of Inside Croydon, since they disabled the article in question after this report. But what they didn’t/couldn’t do is change the original url – that’s the web address in the little window at the top of your browser – which still reads: boss-Hart-leading-race-vacant-Crystal-Palace-manager-s-job. Bit of a giveaway that]
Wadsworth, when news editor, spent an increasing amount of her time trying to develop the Sadvertiser‘s website, apparently in the face of entrenched opposition in the newsroom. Since her departure, many of the innovations she introduced (including a widely ridiculed blog by the paper’s former editor) have been rolled back.
As old media continues to wrestle with the increasing influence of the 24/7 news cycle as rolled out across television channels, radio stations and websites, little local papers like the Sadvertiser need to wake up, and quickly, to their digital future. Ignoring it and hoping it goes away is not going to work.