I think I just read the worst Newcastle United article ever written
I just read this Newcastle United article below and… I’m just shaking my head and laughing.
Like the rest of you, I see real rubbish written about our football club every day.
However, this one hit the mark!
I have sympathy for people involved in local newspapers, because actual newspaper sales are virtually invisible these days.
So now, like everywhere else, local newspapers rely heavily on sustaining through their online offerings.
Now, I grew up in a time when the Chronicle was basically that.
That’s how you found out what was going on at Newcastle United.
In the 1970s and 1980s, people like John Gibson and Alan Oliver walked out of the Chronicle offices, talked to whoever was the director or the president, etc., went back to the office, wrote it, and then when you received the Chronicle on your doorstep, that’s how you found out who Newcastle United had signed. Or any other news of what’s going on at the club.
These days, I guess most of you see it like me, the Chronicle is just another website fighting for your attention.
Hard/impossible to believe when I look back to my childhood etc and how the Chronicle (and The Rose!!!) was such required reading. I remember reading that in the glory days of newspapers, the Chronicle sold something like 200,000 copies a day, for most people I knew they got a national newspaper every morning and the Chronicle the after- noon / night. Now, those who still receive the paper version, receive the Chronicle in the morning when it goes on sale, with yesterday’s news inside!
Also, if you are/were a local you will remember that there was a Chronicle vendor on every corner of Newcastle city centre, all with their own regular locations. I’m not sure how many there were, but I’m pretty sure it was at least something like three or four editions over the course of the day, each seeing new additions/changes. Thus, the very first Chronicle of the day put on sale could be very different from the final. As for The Pink, honestly what could be better than streaming out of St James Park after the Newcastle United win, in the pub on your second or third post-match pint, and then The Pink’s salesman rushing and being attacked, turning to the back page to devour all the scores of the matches played this Saturday.
Anyway, enough nostalgia for a Saturday morning… for now.
This Newcastle United article that I mentioned at the top of The Chronicle – March 12, 2022:
Newcastle United’s full injury list ahead of Chelsea game
Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin are hoping to be involved in the game to give Eddie Howe more attacking options to choose from, but they will both need late fitness tests after battling injuries and no involvement at St May’s against Southampton.
However, Howe still has to deal with multiple injury issues. Here is the complete list of absences:
The Spanish defender picked up a side strain in training which could prevent him from going to Chelsea.
The defensive midfielder has missed the last eight games after undergoing knee surgery. He is not yet approaching a comeback.
Trippier was in excellent form and played a big part in the club’s turnaround before breaking his foot in the win over Aston Villa. He also had surgery and hopes to return before the end of the season.
The Newcastle number nine tore his calf at Manchester United in December and, like Trippier, is not expected to return until the end of the season.
The former Norwich City full-back saw a specialist in Germany after picking up a groin injury he couldn’t recover from.
Jamal Lewis – He’s not even in Newcastle’s Premier League squad so he’s irrelevant. Obviously, the Chronicle reporter has no idea that is the case. Suffice to say that Alan Shearer will not be available!
Callum Wilson – Well he was right, Wilson is indeed injured. However, that injury was picked up at home against Man Utd, not away.
Kieran Trippier – All notes on this one, well done.
Isaac Hayden – Isaac ‘isn’t about to return yet’… well, considering he’s not even in Newcastle’s Premier League squad, as Lewis comments, that’s a no-no full meaning. Obviously, the writer doesn’t have that basic knowledge of who is and isn’t in the 25-man PL squad for the rest of the season.
Federico Fernandez – After picking up 31 caps for Argentina, this NUFC defender will be interested to hear this morning that he could still be called up to play for Spain…
Joelinton and ASM – The reporter refers to this pair as having late fitness tests, but doesn’t even mention what their injuries are (Joelinton – groin, ASM – calf).
At the time, the Chronicle employed countless staff, including staff/editors who checked everything before it was released to Tyneside audiences. Presumably these days it must not be financially viable to employ staff to check what others have written before anything comes out as that shocking Newcastle United article above surely wouldn’t have succeeded . Sure, the weird thing was still able to slip into the past, but nothing on this scale!
You also have to think that when it comes to local newspapers, you need local people to write the articles. That doesn’t mean every writer has to be a born and bred Geordie (although that wouldn’t hurt!) but I think at least you have to live in the area you’re writing about.
The Chronicle of course still have people writing about Newcastle United who live in the North East BUT increasingly they also seem to have a growing number of writers who don’t live here.
Whatever else you think of what John Gibson, Lee Ryder, or others write, they wouldn’t have put out that garbage above.
However, the Chronicle seems to be using more and more writers to write about Newcastle United who don’t live in Newcastle, or even near our great city. It’s not impossible for someone to write good things about Newcastle United, after all look at so many brilliant articles that appear on The Mag from fans who live all over the UK and indeed the world. However, if you live somewhere else AND you’re not a Newcastle United fan, then if you’re going to write about NUFC, you’ll need to do the extra work to make sure you’re right.
In the case of this Newcastle United article above, it was written by Joshua Hobbs.
There is a site online called Muck Rack and if you Google the name of almost every journalist and Muck Rack you can see every article they have written.
When I did this with Joshua Hobbs, it brought up an interesting list.
Going back eight days, he did articles on Leeds, Huddersfield, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City and… Newcastle United.
His profile on Muck Rack talks about Joshua Hobbs – ‘Freelance football writer and scout’. Member of the @AllStatsArentWe team. I mostly tweet about Leeds United. It also lists it as “Trends Writer” for Reach PLC.
Reach PLC owns many “local” newspapers/websites across the country including the Chronicle (and Liverpool Echo, Leicester Mercury, Coventry Telegraph, Derby Evening Telegraph, Leeds Live, Hull Live, Plymouth Live etc etc. ) and seems to be using writers like Joshua more and more, to write about loads of different football clubs… which aren’t necessarily ‘local’ to them.
You can see where the problems can come from.
If you are a Leeds United fan writing about Newcastle United AND Hull, clubs Sheffield, Huddersfield etc, you will not know every player in each team. I wouldn’t expect Lee Ryder or John Gibson to be able to list every player in the Hull team, because you can’t have specialist knowledge of every random football club.
Which, in a roundabout way, got me thinking about the future of local newspapers and in particular their reporting on local football.
We are surely not too far now from the total disappearance of the paper versions of local newspapers. It will be sad for the dwindling number of seniors who still rely on newspaper delivery or store pickup. However, I don’t see how companies can sustain them any longer with ever lower sales. Local and national newspaper prices continue to rise and rise, to compensate for declining sales, but they can’t go too high. I’m already amazed at how much newspapers already cost these days, when my mother or other older relatives ask me to buy them if I’m on my way to visit them.
The internet is great in so many ways BUT sometimes I get a big nostalgia smack and go back to the days of The Pink and The Chronicle when they were such a big part of Tyneside life. Nothing stands still though and unfortunately it has now been a very long time since even Newcastle Brown Ale has been brewed in Newcastle Upon Tyne. It was an absolute disgrace and should never have happened. As a kid walking around downtown and that must-have smell when the breweries were busy! Mind you, having taken the nostalgia route, one thing I certainly don’t miss is what you’ve often experienced on a Sunday morning when walking down Quayside Market, the smell wafting over the Tyne!!
I no longer fancy Newcastle Brown Ale which is now brewed in Tadcaster and if in future my local newspaper coverage of Newcastle United is also going to be ‘brewed’ in Yorkshire then I think I will drop it it like good.