Saturday, 2 April 2011

Gone but not missed

I AM strangely elated by the news that the owner of the Daily Sport and Sunday Sport newspapers has said that it is to enter administration after failing to pay off its debts.
I have lots of reasons to hate the publications. They were obscene and an anathema to real journalism, in that truth and accuracy played no part in decisions to publish.
Their attempts at humour, like Lancaster bomber found on the Moon or Elvis Presley is alive and well and living wherever, were mainly just stupid.
Most seriously they fuelled the calls for regulation on the Press.
When the media was trying to fend off active political campaigns to have them censored by politicians and their appointees, The Daily Star sent a reporter under cover into a hospital to photograph and interview the ‘Allo ‘Allo actor Gorden Kaye who had a terrible head injury from a freak road accident.
This was portrayed as proof of need for regulation, when no legitimate newspaper or broadcast medium would have dreamed of such an intrusion.
The trouble was that the Daily Sport wanted it both ways. They wanted to join the club of the media but didn’t want to obey any of its rules.
Sport Media Group (SMG), which in 2009 was saved from going out of business by former owner David Sullivan, has ceased trading with immediate effect.
The announcement came after the group warned it had experienced "an insufficient recovery" in trading since the adverse weather in December last year. This was as truthful as their stories.
The fact is that the Daily Sport filled a very narrow niche market, for a few years, and was now obsolete. Its place has been taken by the Internet.
That’s where people look for irresponsible, unregulated, frivolous, celebrity-driven news. If they want serious information and responsible reporting they turn to the traditional media.
Daily Sport, which specialises in celebrity news and soft porn stories and images, and was launched in 1991 by Mr Sullivan, had had its day.
I feel sorry for the 130-odd staff it employed, but its demise has been on the cards for some time. At its peak Daily Sport circulation, in 2005, was 189,473, the Saturday edition at 110,785 and the Sunday Sport at 167,473.
SMG withdrew its titles from the official newspaper industry monthly circulation audit after sales plunged and left each title at around a third of peak levels.
The company confirmed on Friday it had ceased trading - meaning its papers will not appear on news-stands - and it is set to appoint an administrator.
The chosen firm will seek to sell or close the operation. If shut down, it will be the first national newspaper to fold since Today in November 1995.
If any newspaper had to close, I am glad it was the Daily Sport.

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