Hull Daily Mail and Smeargate

Sorry for the use of ....gate in the title - it's the lazy sub in me!

Fascinated to read about the Hull Daily Mail's unique tactic for fighting back against hyperlocal rival - to smear its creator as a pornographer in chief.

I love the moral outrage in all this and the lazy attitude which typifies regional media these days. Instead of using Northcliffe's enormous resources to take the competition head-on it opts for a Sunday red-top style sting.

I particularly like the repeated mention of the pictures of young people in the town - some of which have been take by web designer Paul Smith!!!! Clearly that's a major issue and we should light torches and carry pitchforks to drive this monster from our town.

Of course, he's doing nothing illegal so maybe we shouldn't. What's that you say? Until recently all regional media knowingly carried adverts from prostitutes? Completely different and unrelated to the matter in hand. Harrumph.

I have some sympathy with the regional media. They (we perhaps - for I was there) were slow to react to the web and constantly five years behind and they battle against unfair competition in the form of the licence-fee supported BBC (as does all media in this country).

But come on. Make an effort. Stop spitting the dummy and get back to creating good content that might encourage people to come to you. Get reporters out of the office, stop relying on press releases and PA and don't forget you are part of a community, not in competition with Heat or NOTW.

The only pleasing aspect has been the way the online community has responded so quickly to put the Mail in its place. Way to go commenters.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to think that one of your labels for this particular post has attracted a lot of lonely and now rather bemused men to it.

    I agree that it is quite positive that so many people are standing up against the story. To be fair, the mere nature of the internet does mean that some rather un-christmassy websites do become part of people's bread and butter work. It certainly doesn't mean he is some sinister porn barren out to corrupt the morals of society around him.

    To be honest I think that the real genius of this story is how much extra traffic their website is probably drumming up from it. Is calling it an ellaborate ploy on their part being a bit too generous?

    The only purpose I can think of this story is for stirring things up, hence getting more traffic and more money. Surely the anger of the people only fuels this type of reporting?