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Football club lifts ban on regional daily after talks

A football ban imposed on a regional daily over a Tweet by one of its reporters has been lifted after talks were held.

The Swindon Advertiser was banned from using press facilities at Swindon Town football club last week after chief sports writer Sam Morshead tweeted that striker Nile Ranger was in the side to play Peterborough United before the team sheets were handed in.

The paper was hit with the ban last Monday after the club claimed Sam’s Tweet had led to Peterborough changing their team before the match on 11 January.

It meant the paper was not allowed to use the press box at the County Ground and Sam was not invited to pre-match press conferences. Club officials and players were also told not to answer his questions after matches.

But Advertiser editor Gary Lawrence met Swindon Town chairman Lee Power and director Sangita Shah for talks yesterday and the ban was lifted.

In a story about the dispute being resolved, Gary said: “We had a full and frank exchange and Lee made it clear how he felt about the Tweet and other issues around reporting of the club. I was able to explain our position and make a few points about what we do and why we do it.

“It was helpful and I was able to appreciate why Lee was upset and I hope he was able to understand that the paper, and Sam, are among the club’s most fervent backers in this town but we have a job to do and as long as we do it responsibly we have to be free to get on with it.

“It is clear that Lee wants the best for the team, the club and its supporters. We agreed that lifting this ban and moving on is the best way forward for the club as a whole and the fans.

“Sam works incredibly hard to provide the best and most in-depth coverage of the team and he’ll continue to do that. I’m grateful for Lee making time to sort this out and now we get on with our work.”

When the ban was imposed, the Advertiser said Sam had only tweeted the news about Ranger being in the team after seeing a Tweet by a fan, who had photographed his shirt in the dressing room.

The paper said it was then in the public domain and Ranger had himself told his followers on Instagram that he would be in the side, before the team sheets were submitted.

The ban is the latest to hit the regional press in recent months, with the Rotherham Advertiser and Trinity Mirror’s titles in Newcastle still affected by disputes with their local clubs.

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  • January 21, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Twitter blows, it really does. Where has people’s patience gone?

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