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EPL Newcastle United Bans Three Local Newspapers Following Coverage Of Protest
Published October 29, 2013
SMALL-TOWN PAPERS 'FUNDAMENTAL': Also in London, Ian Ladyman opined "Ashley doesn't like criticism." We "know this." The Daily Mail "has had its privileges withdrawn in the past." So has the Daily Telegraph. Closing the door "on the local papers is something else entirely, though." In places like Newcastle, papers like the Chronicle, Journal and Sunday Sun are "fundamental to daily life, either in the printed form or digitally." Newcastle is "that kind of city." It's a place "where the nuts and bolts of daily life still matter." It is "the same 200 miles south in Staffordshire," where "Stoke-on-Trent's local paper -- The Sentinel -- matters, too." Yet this morning "its readers are learning that one of their local clubs, Port Vale, have locked them out after a cluster of what owner Norman Smurthwaite perceives to be 'negative' stories" (DAILY MAIL, 10/28).
A 'NUISANCE': Also in London, Luke Edwards wrote "Ashley does not like newspapers." We "are a nuisance to him." The "decision to ban them came after several threats had been made via the club’s media department that they would be if they continued to offer negative coverage of the team and the club." Ashley’s "suspicion of the media, and newspapers particularly, has deepened since he became involved in football." Part of that is because he is "under more scrutiny, but mainly it is because he has never grasped the fact a football club is a business that is part of the entertainment industry." Like every other "area of the entertainment industry, coverage is subjective." Newspapers get to "give their verdict on all of these things for free because it is, in effect, free advertising." It is a "mutually beneficial relationship and has always been so." Ashley, though, is "one of the Premier League chairmen who want to make newspapers pay to cover games." His calls have "thankfully" been "rejected by the Premier League who realise they need newspaper coverage" (TELEGRAPH, 10/28).