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Opinion

No wonder nobody buys newspapers anymore when you see this

5 months ago
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Newspapers, I remember them.

Once upon a time you couldn’t do without them.

Now you wonder what is the point of them.

Like me, the chances are that now you will only see/pick up newspapers if you are (pre-lockdown) visiting your grandparents.

When you think how big a part of every day life they used to be, essential even, it feels now a bit like picking up an exhibit at Beamish Museum. Even my grandparents are now wondering why the ‘news’ in them is so old, particularly now they are gradually getting the hang of the his and her i-pads that we got them for Christmas.

Of course for us, newspapers were always read back to front.

Everybody got the Chronicle, that was how you learnt what was happening at Newcastle United, club and newspaper were inter-dependent. Pretty much every single story was broken by them back in the day.

John Gibson or Alan Oliver was called up to St James Park, told by the manager or chairman what was happening and wrote it down, then walked back down to the Chronicle offices and within hours city centre street sellers were selling the latest edition, telling you NUFC had bought whoever.

There was no Sky Sports, internet, social media and so on, you either went to a shop street seller to find out the news or had it pushed through your letter box.

Then you had the joy of The Pink after the match, no better thing than scanning all the results after a win for Newcastle.

Incredible to think in my/our lifetime that The Pink has disappeared and the Chronicle has gone from a necessity to what we have now. Back in the day, as well as NUFC news, if you wanted to get a job, buy a car, find out what was on at the pictures, which shops had sales on…then you had to get the Chronicle. You had to advertise there, now nothing has to be advertised there, they are simply competing with everybody else, especially online.

Which brings me to Newcastle fans and newspapers at the present time, whether on paper or online.

For so long newspapers were all powerful and the money rolled in easily, now it has never been so tough for journalists and their employers.

You still have a small minority who sell themselves on quality and/or behind a paywall / subscription online. However, most are simply part of the heaving mass trying to get noticed via their headlines, tempting people to click in.

At times like this and a Newcastle United takeover saga seemingly heading towards an endgame, we see the usual suspects bombarding us with far more stories/headlines, plus the vultures who rarely if ever run NUFC storylines now trying to get their share of the action.

The takeover happening?

Unless you are a real hardcore conspiracy theorist, you will accept that as things stand, the deal is now with the Premier League to go through the necessary checks after a broad agreement reached on a sale of NUFC between Ashley and the bidders.

Basically nothing is happening outside of that and yet newspapers and others are publishing hundreds/thousands of storylines, claiming inside knowledge of what else is occurring, or going to happen. It is pure fantasy. However, they have to do it because that is the way it is now, competing online for the clicks, they have to pretend they have something new to add.

New manager?

Likewise, they are all running stories claiming who the new manager will be to replace Steve Bruce.

This is simply a risk free story, naming whoever, simply because we all know that if wealthy owners take over then it is inevitable a proper quality Premier League manager will have to come in. The newspapers have to pretend they know something, rather than admitting it is pure speculation which we can all do, whether it is Rafa, Pochettino or any other name they want to pluck out of the air who would sound plausible.

New players?

Exactly the same, endless lists of players linked to Newcastle United.

Journalists pretending they know exactly who the new owners are going to make priority signings. 

It is completely laughable, almost all journalists and newspapers not having a clue about the takeover until documents went public at Companies House for us all to see last week. Yet they all now instantly have an inside track on the hour by hour progress of the takeover, who they are targeting to be manager, as well as the entire new team of superstar players who will be signed. Whilst at the same time completely ignoring financial fair play and anything else that exists in the real world.

I feel sorry for many journalists now, for many it is their vocation and they now find they are losing their jobs or being furloughed, or with the cash pressures getting ever greater, forced to put out baseless nonsense in order to try and make sure they still have a livelihood.

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