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Moyes ‘excuse generator’ tops half a million pageviews

An online game mocking under-fire Manchester United manager David Moyes has proved a viral hit with more than half a million page views.

As featured on HTFP yesterday, the Trinity Mirror title went live with the game after United’s 3-0 defeat to local rivals City in what some pundits saw as a “tipping point” for the beleaguered boss.

Now Trinity has revealed that the game, which also featured on the Liverpool Echo, generated 557,000 page views.

It was built during a Trinity Mirror training course at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) where 15 TM journalists spent two days creating digital content specifically focused on mobile and social audiences.

Among those involved were the MEN’s mobile editor Andrew Stuart, the Echo’s deputy head of content David Bartlett, Chester Chronicle’s digital editor Jo Henwood and the North East’s online content writer Richard Fletcher.

They worked with UCLan journalism lecturer Andy Dickinson to create the game using open source code tool Codepen (

Digital innovations editor Alison Gow said “The ‘Art of the Possible’ session at UCLan produced some cracking ideas, of which the Moyes excuse generator is the first to go live.

“It was terrific to see the teams working on really creative, engaging content ideas, and the massive audience response to this MEN offering shows the value of play-and-learn time.

“The excuse generator led our analytics and there was a huge amount of social sharing activity plus lots of media discussion.”

The development was being seen by national football pundits as indicative of that the mood among United fans is shifting against the manager.

Writing on MailOnline Ian Ladyman said: “Any local paper worth the ink it uses attempts to be reflective of its readership’s mood and the MEN would appear to have done that. It feels like a landmark moment.”


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  • March 27, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Considering all the flak aimed at Trinity Mirror for the original story on here, I’d say that was a fine response.

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  • March 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    If it took 15 journalists two days to devise this, and other ideas, imagine what they might have achieved by way of real reportage? Let’s not grace such ‘infotainment’ with any idea that it’s journalism – that way lies disaster.

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