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Editor pledges review of football coverage after fans’ claims of bias

A regional daily is reviewing the way it covers sport after complaints of bias from supporters of one of the two main football clubs on its patch.

The Liverpool Echo says it will scrutinise its coverage of both Everton FC and Liverpool FC, after being inundated with criticism by Blues’ fans.

Everton supporters have complained of an “extraordinary bias” towards Liverpool and accused the paper of focusing on how much internet traffic it could pull in from Reds’ supporters in the Far East.

The complaints have come to light as a result of Echo editor Alastair Machray’s ‘#TellAli’ project, a month-long consultation with readers which precedes a relaunch at the end of June.

Echo editor Alastair Machray with some of the responses to his 'Tell Ali' project

Echo editor Alastair Machray with some of the responses to his ‘#TellAli’ project

Reader Gary Shaw told the Echo: “Your paper is too sensationalist. There is a lack of true investigative journalism. You are more concerned with internet traffic than actually reporting stories that are of interest to our city.

“For example, the bias towards Liverpool FC is extraordinary. You are a local paper for Merseyside.

“Your concern shouldn’t be how much internet traffic you can pull in from the Far East.

“Everton FC get hardly any recognition from the national media. To suffer the same indignity in our own city is unforgivable.”

Taxi drivers surveyed for their views of the Echo were also among those to criticise its sports coverage – particularly how the Blues of Everton are treated compared to the Reds of Liverpool.

Cabbie Paul O’Connor said: “There needs to be lots more about Everton. Liverpool will get beat and we will win but it’ll still be them all over the front and back pages.”

His colleague Kevin Edge added: “The first thing I do with a newspaper is look at the back page and there’s too much news about the Reds – I stopped buying the Echo for that reason.

“I go everywhere with Everton but in the Echo it’s never about how good we were, but how bad they were.”

In a piece which appeared on the Echo’s website on Sunday, Alastair responded: “We have received far more criticism about our football coverage from Everton fans than we have from Liverpool fans.

“I would like to make it clear that I am actively reviewing the balance of coverage with my sports team.”

35 comments

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  • June 16, 2015 at 7:32 am
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    Talk about out of touch – it’s been the Red Echo for decades – I wrote a letter to the Echo about it in 1979!

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  • June 16, 2015 at 9:03 am
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    And there he is sitting in front of a red wall in his office!

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  • June 16, 2015 at 9:32 am
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    As a Tranmere Rovers fan I wish to lodge a protest….

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  • June 16, 2015 at 10:35 am
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    Echo is very one-eyed in its coverage of local football. Massively biased in favour of Liverpool. Yet the city fan base belongs to EFC. You would think they would have twigged they don’t sell that many papers in the Far East and web hits in the same region won’t do their online advertisers too much good. And yes, that red wall says it all.

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  • June 16, 2015 at 11:24 am
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    Just goes to show ‘local’ doesn’t really work on the internet when the priority is to get hits on the world wide web.

    That still wouldn’t justify the lack of coverage in the printed edition though.

    Evertonians deserve much better than what the Echo offer, although ironically they can find it online through sites like Toffeeweb and Bluekipper.com, both far more relevant than the local rag.

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  • June 16, 2015 at 11:55 am
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    Most regionals are biased. The are seldom really critical of a team because their sports writers need to keep a good relationship with the manager etc to get copy. It is as basic as that, although one or two do put a good tackle in instead of waving a leg.

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  • June 16, 2015 at 12:57 pm
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    I don’t think it is biasded, fans always think people are biased againts their club. Their chief football writer is dyed in the wool blue (Dave Prentice) and most of their columnists, the likes of Jon Parrott, were blue. The reds will always get more coverage because they’re more newsworthy – that’s not bias, that’s simple truth, they’ve been nearer the top in recent years, if it was Everton then they’d get more coverage.

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  • June 16, 2015 at 6:08 pm
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    Cobblers Neil. Everton is known as the People’s Club because the majority of scousers support Everton! Stand on the Kop and you’ll be lucky to hear a Scouse accent!

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  • June 16, 2015 at 6:26 pm
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    Oh come, on Neil…the Echo joined the pitchforked mob to get rid of the “bad Yanks” and install the “good Yanks” and are still going on about LFC in crisis! Crisis? how much cash wasted on transfers?
    Yet, perhaps because they are owned by Trinity who print both the EFC match-day programme and Evertonian magazine, they pursue a sycophantic relationship with EFC’s board, have never investigated or asked questions of it and have never examined why EFC have gone without “investment”, leadership or direction under the present regime

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  • June 16, 2015 at 9:58 pm
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    After this season I assumed the Blues were Leicester. Who are Everton, are they also in Liverpool? Sounds a bit like the Yankees and the Mets, except I like the Mets.

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  • June 17, 2015 at 8:03 am
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    When is the penny going to drop with Evertonians? Your club is small and insignificant and has been for a long, long time and just not news worthy!! On and the geezer from London saying the city is blue priceless!!!!

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  • June 17, 2015 at 10:35 am
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    Now, now, Jeff, play nice
    “oh you’ll never see a Scouser on the Kop…”
    EFC: community football club, unambitious Board, insignificant globally on £1.80, champions 1987
    LFC: world-wide fanbase, massive investment, 3rd all-time biggest spenders in the Prem, champions 1990

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  • June 18, 2015 at 11:37 am
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    Haven’t bought the Echo for at least 15 year and don’t read it online either, as an Evertonian, why would I?, It is a laughable excuse of a newspaper which unlike the Manchester Evening News manages to cover the two teams in the city equitably.
    For Everton news I go to Everton forums to read comprehensive and highly articulate articles which would put the ‘journalists’ at the Red Echo to shame.

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  • June 18, 2015 at 11:39 am
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    Obviously deluded kopite Jeff has never had reason to try to book a hotel room in Liverpool when the city’s second and youngest club are at home. Fully booked by Norwegians.The city is blue and it’s all ours. One day the red Echo will wake up and show a bit more neutrality.

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  • June 18, 2015 at 12:25 pm
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    Could Jeff translate that into Norwegian for the rest of his never go to the match chums!

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  • June 19, 2015 at 11:18 am
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    Why do Evertonians bask in being small and insular? The truth is your small club has just made up the numbers for a long time and take it from me no one cares that you had undersoil heating first or floodlights it doesn’t matter. Your club can only look on in awe at the big clubs that surround them as you continue to be small and insignificant, oh how you wish you were big! I take no lectures from a club that has won one trophy in a quarter of a century and can only very rarely win their game of the season their one and only A game against their ‘neighbours’ who they despise so much but can console themselves that they were the first club in the city! Unfortunately for you it just makes our record look even better as we have won much more in less time. For ever and ever in our shadow!!!

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  • June 19, 2015 at 3:56 pm
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    No-marks who say that any club is ‘small and insignificant’ because they are not among the Sky TV chosen few have obviously been taken in by all the hype which suggests that football began with the Premier League. Those who understand need no explanation. Those who don’t, don’t matter.

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  • June 19, 2015 at 8:29 pm
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    I think you will find we also won more than you before the PL was invented mate. Forever and ever in our shadow.
    Ps Shouldn’t you be writing from County Road??????

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  • June 21, 2015 at 2:07 am
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    The London Evening Standard has far more league clubs to cover equally than the Liverpool Echo, yet, has not received the same deluge of complaints that Liverpool Echo has with just 2.

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  • June 21, 2015 at 1:16 pm
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    Grassroots. Everybody else seemed to get over it and as someone has stated didn’t you win the league in 87? Pass the salt and vinegar to put on your chip!!!

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  • June 22, 2015 at 9:37 am
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    Dear me Jeff, how typical of LFC “fans” and their sense of entitlement
    39 people went to a football match and never came home
    I doubt the bereaved have “got over it”

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  • June 22, 2015 at 12:59 pm
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    Some bitter nonsense on here, goes to show how football has grown to become something to argue over and spout bile.

    Yes, as a Liverpool fan I personally am responsible for Heysel, I’d like to stand trial – right now.

    The ‘justice’ comment was quite low too, one would think journalists would be sympathetic to people being aggrieved at (now fully proven) police and establishment cover ups, but then, it’s been a long time since modern journalism cared about, or had the wits to do anything about, such things – maybe if it did we wouldn’t have gone to war in Iraq.

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  • June 22, 2015 at 1:16 pm
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    A terrible tragedy that should not have happened for sure and people were punished for their crimes.What is disgusting is the whip Everton like to use against Liverpool FC in some form of moral high ground! Perhaps you should listen to the vile chants about Hillsborough that are sung at every derby or perhaps you condone the mocking of being crushed!! The point is Liverpool FC are not responsible for the years of mismanagement of Everton FC. Just how long are you going to harp on about Heysel and the total misnomer that it was significant in your club becoming insignificant. No other club goes on about it like Everton and low and behold they all moved on

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  • June 22, 2015 at 5:36 pm
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    Absolute bo!!ocks Jeff – shame on you
    The Evertonian community has given nothing but wholesale support and stood steadfast, side by side, with our red cousins over Hillsborough – and you know it

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  • June 22, 2015 at 7:07 pm
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    The youngest victim at Heysel was a 12-year-old girl. Go and ask her parents if they are bitter about the actions of Liverpool supporters!

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  • June 23, 2015 at 1:38 pm
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    Try attending Goodison Park on derby day and tell me about the Everton community! Tell those retards in the park end that they are doing you proud as an Evertonian mocking those at Hillsborough! When has anyone basked in Heysel? Tragedy should not have happened and I had to watch it in real life. If you saw an Italians beating up kids what would you do. It was a terrible time

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  • June 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm
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    Jeff, get yourself a smaller spade; if Blues are bitters, the likes of you are deludes

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  • June 24, 2015 at 7:26 pm
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    I stopped buying the Echo years ago – I was sick of reading about the bias towards Lpool and at least 4 out of 5 back pages predominantly Lpool – Id never buy it again – I actually wouldn’t even use it to wipe my under carriage. All I can say to all true Evertonian sis don’t buy this Lpool rag until they give the Blues a fair deal – it’s the only way to make them change by boycotting thier revenue = DONT BUY IT.

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  • June 30, 2015 at 8:14 pm
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    Stopped buying the echo years ago, as a blue nose it simply did’nt offer any real honest journalism on the blue side of the city.

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