AddThis SmartLayers

Weekly editor in war of words with critical blogger

A war of words has broken out after the editor of a weekly newspaper defended his title against the criticisms of a local blogger.

Glenn Ebrey from the Croydon Advertiser has written an ‘open letter’ on his blog to the anonymous author of Inside Croydon, inviting him to spend a day at the paper’s office.

He made the invitation, which was later declined, after the Advertiser was regularly criticised by the blogger, who called its reporting of events ‘tired and dull’.

But following the publication of his letter, Inside Croydon has hit back at the editor, defending its judgments of the title, which it calls the ‘Sadvertiser’.

In Glenn’s blog, he writes: “There is no disputing it makes for a lively read but, when it comes to the local newspapers (especially us) Mr Insider doesn’t just have a chip on his shoulder, he seems to have the full portion with ketchup and vinegar thrown in for good measure.

“In the introductory blurb on the site, Mr Insider refers our coverage as ‘puerile or patronising’ and ‘tired and dull’. I’ve had better reviews.

“Fair enough though – everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, The Insider’s latest missive about our Parking Mad campaign is a source of particular annoyance largely because, not to put too fine a point on it, it’s a load of old codswallop.

“Firstly, he continually describes us as the Croydon S-Advertiser, which must have taken a whole 30 seconds to think up. No chance of a job on the subs desk with lame puns like that.

“Then, he goes on to criticise us for daring to start a campaign (a successful campaign, I might add) against Croydon Council’s parking proposals. If we hadn’t bothered with a campaign, we probably would have been criticised for that too. Isn’t campaigning what all good local newspapers should be doing?”

In his response to Glenn, a blog post on Inside Croydon says the editor should develop a ‘thicker skin’ and says the Advertiser’s parking campaign was ‘belatedly jumping on a bandwagon’.

The blogger writes: “It is our contention that the Sadvertiser has been compromised in its coverage of local issues for many years – long before Ebrey was given the editor’s chair. Hence our view of his paper as ‘puerile or patronising’ and ‘tired and dull’.

“Don’t take it personally, Glenn: it wasn’t a review of your work, but a reflection of being ill-served for many years by what is possibly one of the worst local newspapers in the country.

“And that’s not just our view: ask journalists who work a similar patch for the Croydon Guardian or the South London Press. Ask yourself, Glenn, when was the last time that the Sadvertiser actually broke a story – any story – that got followed up by local BBC or ITV networks, by the Mail or the Standard?”

10 comments

You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • February 9, 2011 at 8:38 am
    Permalink

    In Glenn’s defence, it turns out the mystery blogger is a freelancer who had his copy rejected by the Advertiser, which may go some way to explaining his feelings. There is an update on Glenn’s blog.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • February 9, 2011 at 9:36 am
    Permalink

    The Advertiser must be one of the few weekly newspapers still paying freelances. Daily newspapers pay a pittance. No wonder ex-hacks vent their frustration on ‘blogs’ which are about as useful as those who scrawl on a toilet door.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • February 9, 2011 at 9:51 am
    Permalink

    Glenn ought to avoid criticising the blogger for ‘lame puns’ when his campaign about parking is called “Parking Mad”. Is there some obscure law which decrees that all stories about parking must either be called “Parking Mad” or “Just the Ticket”?

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • February 9, 2011 at 10:09 am
    Permalink

    Thanks for that info, Ex-Advertiser, that certainly makes a lot of sense!

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • February 9, 2011 at 10:25 am
    Permalink

    It’s difficult to turn the other cheek when Mr Downes consistently criticises and belittles the paper. Everyone has the right to an opinion, but as we all know from McNae, that opinion should be based on fact. Of course the Advertiser’s not perfect and like any local paper it has slow weeks, but staff work very hard, for relatively little money to produce a good local paper. Instead of representing the people of Croydon, like the blog claims, it actually appears to be an excuse of Mr Downes to vent his fury at a newspaper which rightly or wrongly dispensed with his services.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • February 9, 2011 at 11:17 am
    Permalink

    I always thought it was a front for the local Labour Party. The blog, that is.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • February 9, 2011 at 12:25 pm
    Permalink

    Oh dear currentadvertiser, you seem to have got rather upset that someone dared criticise your paper! Heed the age-old advice; don’t get precious about your product and for God’s sake NEVER rise to the bait! Both yours and your editor’s reactions to a blogger you are so keen to belittle show nothing more than your own insecurities! Me think the Advertiser doth protest too much!

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • February 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm
    Permalink

    Childish ramblings from a child-editor. It’s like watching two adolescent’s arguments played out on Facebook or Twatter. Get over it Glenn, you will get slated. By rising to it, it only serves to make you look like a petulant child throwing his toy typewriter out of the pram.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • February 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm
    Permalink

    I actually think the blogger is making a fair comment. But instead of singling out the Croydon Advertiser, he should have directed it at the vast majority of weekly newspapers. They are generally so under staffed that it has become a chore just filling pages with (sometimes) recycled press releases and the odd bit of actual news.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
Take part in our Reader Survey here